Motorcycle Traffic Awareness: Watch Out for Cars Ahead and Behind You

No matter how we get from one destination to another, most of us take arriving safely for granted, whether by car or motorcycle. Because making our way through traffic becomes such a rote exercise daily, it can be easy to forget how important it is to bring our A game for driving in every single trip. Complete focus is an absolute requirement for traveling safely, but that is often tossed by the wayside as drivers are tempted by numerous distractions. Smartphones, electronics, engaging with passengers, and more, result in hundreds of thousands of car crashes each year—and far too many fatalities.

Electronic distractions are not to blame for everything, however. Speeding, driving under the influence, and ignoring traffic rules such as stopping for red lights are still many of the major causes of accidents. Because of these ongoing traffic concerns, motorcyclists traveling on today’s roads must drive much more defensively, as well as taking it upon themselves to make sure that everyone around notices their presence.

Visibility is historically a big problem between motorists and motorcyclists. And while those riding motorcycles may be doing everything right, including following all traffic rules to a tee, the car driver simply may overlook them because they are used to scanning traffic for other cars and trucks which are more easily seen—and quickly so. We all share the road and that means special attention should be given in making sure we aren’t making a left turn and cutting off a motorcyclist—or turning into a crosswalk area as a pedestrian or bicyclist are making their way across. Visual acuity sometimes prevents this from happening though and can result in catastrophe. For more on this issue, see one of our recent blogs regarding motorcycles and traffic, ‘Danger on the Road: Why Motorcyclists Are So Often Overlooked.’

Driving defensively when either in front of or behind cars will help ensure that motorists can see you and are as prepared as possible for any sudden stops or starts; in fact, the best rule of thumb is to assume cars don’t see you at all and to take every precaution possible. This includes shifting around in the lane, whether in front or behind, and making sure to avoid any blind spots. Some motorcyclists will drive closer to the dividing line in traffic, giving themselves better visibility as well as latitude for moving back and forth. If you are driving behind a car, always give a wide berth to avoid an accident if they slam on their brakes unexpectedly.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.