Rear-view cameras are a staple in newer vehicles, and they come in handy most of the time. However, this technology, just like all other technology, has it’s failings. One failing in particular, is the blind trust that many drivers have in it. Many rear-view cameras will beep if there is an obstruction in your path for backing up, so many people don’t think to actually look behind them. Therefore, when that object doesn’t register for your back-up camera, you are at risk of hitting someone or something. One object at particular risk, is a motorcycle.
Motorcycles and Rear-View Cameras: Putting Bikers at Risk
Bikers are already more difficult to spot
Therefore, we must take added precaution when backing up. A back-up camera serves the purpose of aiding your backing up, not dictating it completely. So, it’s important that while your rear-view cameras play their role, you also take some responsibility in it. Keep in mind that disclaimer that pops up on the screen when you use the camera; something to the effect of ‘not liable for damages or injury’. Therefore, if you cause injury, your car company is not taking responsibility.
One other issue to take into account is the accuracy of those safety features on your vehicle. They beep, or alert you in some way of obstructions. But how do they measure them? What will alert you and what will not? Motorcycles are particularly small, and therefore they may not register as quickly, or even at all.
Take for example, a driver, who is in a rush, driving a sedan with a rear-view camera. The driver of the sedan may exclusively depend on the camera to back up. Because the camera only displays the area behind the driver, the driver must look left and right. If the driver fails to look both ways, the potential for an accident is at large. If a driver relies solely on this camera; other drivers, pedestrians, or riders may be at risk.
Bikers are also already at higher risk of injury
Aside from the heightened risk of being hit, they’re also at an increased risk of injury. So, while hitting anyone can be problematic, a biker will likely incur more injuries than the average driver. So, settlements will be higher, injury will be greater, and you will have more to deal with in fixing this issue. All in all, you should take from this that a back-up camera should be an accessory to help rather than carry all the weight. Still look to your sides, and behind you. You never know what might be hiding outside of the cameras line of sight.
It used to be fun as a kid— you were riding the school bus and a big truck goes by. All the kids pump their arms in hopes that the truck driver will humor you and honk. We’ve all seen it, and likely done it at some point in our lives. However, as we get older and driving on the roadway becomes more serious, those distractions can become dangerous. Distracting truckers by asking them to honk, or being caught off guard by a loud airhorn, can be dangerous for all drivers.
Distracting Truckers: Save the Horn for Safety
Eyes off the road
One major issue with getting a trucker’s attention to do something silly, is that their eyes leave the roadway. Even if just for a second, distracting truckers can cause a major issue. Most of them will be able to multitask and do this if asked. After all, it’s for the kids. But, in that off-chance that they take their eyes off the road, just as someone merges right into their front bumper… big trouble. So, all in all, let those truckers keep their eyes on the road. They have enough distractions already without trying to entertain your children.
However, you cannot control the actions of others
While you might not have considered this before, and now definitely aim to stop playing this game— others might not. Therefore, you might be following the rules and being courteous, but others might not. So, you have to account for that. Keep your distance from large trucks, and don’t drive in their blind spots. Most of them are model drivers, but that is not always the case. Whether they lose focus, control, or it’s at the hands of someone else— there is the potential for accident at all times. The best thing you can do is drive, and set your following distance, accordingly.
Only the truck driver can control whether or not he or she becomes distracted. But, the added distractions don’t make it any easier. At the end of the day, that truck driver will decide whether to honor your request or not. So, drive safe, be on guard, and expect that something like this may occur. By doing so, you’ll be more prepared for an unexpected occurrence.
As we enter the summer months, people begin planning for vacation. While some head to the beach or mountains, you may plan to hit both by RV. Although nothing can be more fun than sight seeing across the country in your RV, it does present some obstacles when it comes to RV driving safety. With each new state comes new traffic laws and rules to abide by. But, there are some general rules you can use as a jumping off point. However, depending on where you’re driving, you should check local laws. Just because North Dakota says it’s okay, does not mean Montana is on board…
RV Driving Safety: Following Local and Federal Law
Know Your State
As you hit the road in your RV, be sure to become familiar with the traffic laws in different states. While you’re probably thinking, aren’t they all the same?–the answer is, not quite. For instance, some states allow you to make a right turn at a red light. However, other states do not permit this. So, before you head out, become familiar with basic traffic laws as you pass through different areas.
Before hitting the road, you certainly want to do a light check on your RV. Since you’re in such a large vehicle, other drivers will need a warning before you make any moves. Therefore, you want all brake lights and turning signals to be functioning correctly. Also, in the event of bad weather, you want to make sure other drivers can see you clearly. So even after making a quick stop, make sure to do a light check once again just for good measure.
One of the lesser known RV rules is that sometimes you may need to carry certain items along with you. Depending on how large your RV is, there may be a requirement about what you need to bring with you. For instance, you may need to carry safety chains or trailer brakes. In order to know the specifics RV rules for your vehicle, check your owner’s manual, and ask the dealer upon purchase.
Seat Belt Safety
While RV’s allow the family to roam while you ride, you still need to remember to wear a seat belt. As a driver, you aren’t exempt from North Carolina’s seat belt law. Or any other state’s law that you may be traveling through. So, wear your seat belt as a number one priority for RV driving safety.
In short, it’s important that you know the RV rules for each state you travel in. While some violations may only make for minor traffic tickets, others can be more serious. No matter the penalty, you don’t want to face these troubles at home, much less out on the road. So before planning your summer trips, brush up on your knowledge of RV rules depending on the states you plan to travel through. You never know what might be that one piece of information you were missing…
Whether you fail to yield on a blinking yellow, someone else fails to adhere to a stoplight, or you drift into oncoming traffic during the turn; left turn collisions are a pretty common occurrence on the roadway. Left turns are a bit less protected than, say, a right turn. Because of this, typically they are a bit more serious. Now, you add a motorcycle into the mix and they quickly become deadly. At any rate, drivers and riders are at an increased risk when a car overestimates just how much time and space they have to turn left.
Left Turn Collisions: Serious or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Anyone who has driven on a busy roadway knows that it can be pretty difficult to execute a turn quickly in traffic. Whether you overestimate, don’t see a vehicle, or if they make an error… We may find ourselves in a hurry to get where we’re going. But, keep in mind that safety is of the upmost concern. Getting there safely is way more important than getting there quickly. Left turn collisions are typically some of the more serious accidents. So, taking a few more minutes to pick the right gap could save your life.
Left turns can be quick and easy, or extremely difficult
It seems that, more often than not, traffic goes one of two ways. Either you have a crystal clear roadway for turning. Or, traffic keeps coming at what seems like an unstoppable rate. Between traffic, and stoplights, sometimes you might start to feel like you’ll never turn. But, taking that chance and going for it a bit too quickly can be dangerous for every person on the roadway. Especially if a motorcycle happens to be the next vehicle in line.
Motorcyclists can only withstand so much impact before an accident becomes serious.
Ultimately, motorcyclists cannot control or predict the behavior of other drivers. While this remains the case for both drivers and riders, motorcycle accidents become serious a bit more quickly and frequently. So, watch where you’re going! Stay alert on the roadway, and don’t rush to make risky moves. Driving, even though we do it every day, is a dangerous thing. Sometimes we fail to remember that we are operating a potentially deadly weapon. Especially in reference to smaller vehicles on the roadway.
Tempe, Arizona has been one of the testing grounds for self-driving vehicles for a few years now. They were excited by the opportunity, and up until yesterday— it had only proved to be fortuitous. But, Sunday evening, this testing took a turn for the worse when one of the autonomous vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in the street. While there was a backup driver in the vehicle, she did not intervene; leading to the first incident that will bring into question the credibility and safety of a vehicle without a driver.
Uber’s Self-Driving Vehicle Kills A Pedestrian: Where Do Autonomous Vehicles Go From Here?
Tempe exists as a testing ground for plenty of companies testing out autonomous vehicles. From Uber to a few other technology companies that have been toying with the idea. The idea itself is quite attractive, and if done correctly, it could potentially make the roads much safer. There’s no room for human error, distracted drivers, or even drunk drivers. But, even though there’s no room for human error— what happens when there’s a technology glitch?
Think about you cell phone, your computer, your nav system in the car. Those are all technological systems. But you, just as I, have inevitably faced some frustration from time to time over it not doing it’s job. “Stupid technology,” we say, and then go about our day. But what happens if that same type of glitch occurs in an autonomous vehicle?
So, who’s fault is it?
The footage from cameras facing inside and outside of the vehicle has led the police chief to question who’s at fault for this incident? It came as a shock to many, and led them to question the integrity of that police department. According to the police chief’s statement, “it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode based on how she [the pedestrian] came from the shadows right into the roadway.” According to reports, she was also crossing from outside of a crosswalk— making it more difficult for the autonomous vehicle to account for her entrance to the roadway.
But, there was a backup driver, a human being, inside the vehicle that is supposed to take over if need be. It’s safe to assume that this circumstance would be one in which a backup driver should take over. But, how do we determine who’s at fault? Is it the self-driving vehicle, the backup driver, or the woman crossing the street, from the shadows, after dark?
Where does Uber go from here?
While the investigation is ongoing, Uber has suspended it’s testing. They are working with authorities to better understand what happened, and where to go from here. Research is being done, but as of now, the future of Uber’s Self-Driving Vehicles is unclear. Accidents will inevitably happen on the roadway. Fender bender’s are a part of everyday life for driver’s. But, when there is no driver— how do we determine where the fault lies?
If you’ve just been in a minor car accident, it’’s very likely that you aren’t thinking straight. You might have minor whiplash, you’re angry, and you have a damaged car. First things first, it’s important to remain calm. Then you’re going to want to start a quick process to protect yourself and your future claim. You might have never been in this situation before, in that case— we have you covered. Following, you will quick to do list for handling a minor car accident in a timely, and efficient manner.
How to Handle A Minor Car Accident: Making Sure You’re Safe and Covered
First things first, are you okay?
Are you dizzy? Can you see straight? Do you have feeling in your extremities? It is important to give yourself a once over. Adrenaline is likely pulsing through your body, and that typically makes it difficult to know the extent of your injuries right away. If you need emergency medical attention, then the rest of the accident can be handled secondarily. First things first, you need to make sure you are okay to handle the situation. Not to mention, it’s a bit more difficult to place a claim for injuries after you’ve left the scene of the accident.
If you are able— move your vehicle out of the roadway
It is the law to do so, for one. But also, trying to hash out this whole process while cars are whizzing by and honking— is pretty nerve wracking. You’re likely to forget something. So, if your car is not smoking, or totaled, then it is important for you to get it to the shoulder— same goes for the other party.
Call the police
Many choose to lead with this— others choose not to do it at all. My advise? Call in the accident. It is not uncommon for the at-fault party to suggest handling the claim outside of the law and between the two of you. That is entirely up to you, but often ill-advised. What happens in most of these cases, is that the guilty party will avoid paying and eventually disappear. Obviously, you are welcome to handle the accident in whatever manner you see fit— but, coming from experience— call the police and have them create an official accident report
Check out the damage, exchange insurance information, and call as soon as possible
Examine both vehicles as you wait. Take pictures of both vehicles and their damage, as well as the scene of the accident. Both of you will want to do so for your own records, and in the case of disagreement. Swap insurance information, names, phone numbers, write down license plate info— document everything. When you have all information, call your insurance company. It is best to do so as soon as possible. Dealing with an accident always takes a while, and most of it is waiting around. So, use the time to call your insurance. Ask their opinion, make sure before you leave that you’ve gotten everything they need— let them guide you.
The key here, is to remain calm and get it handled as soon as possible. An accident is less than ideal, but it is not the end of the world. So, follow your steps, document, and move on with your day. We wish you luck in dealing with this process.