Fort Wayne is 110.67 square miles and boasts 1,301.26 miles of roadways. However, unlike southern Indiana, Fort Wayne’s landscape is mostly flat. This flat land combined with the many miles of roadways makes for nice driving, but these conditions can also encourage fast speeds and distracted driving. This can be a recipe for disaster and be especially dangerous for motorcyclists who do not have the protection of a car around them.
Motorcyclists are often some of the most experienced operators on the road. However, skill isn’t always a factor in a motorcycle accident. Many times, experienced motorcyclists are hit by reckless drivers through no fault of their own.
With all of the traffic pouring into Fort Wayne every day, many motorists are bound to be unaware of how their driving behaviors might put motorcyclists at risk. So here are a couple tips to help other drivers share the road with motorcycles safely.
Treat Motorcycles Like Any Other Vehicle
Sometimes, other drivers forget that motorcycles are vehicles entitled to the roadway as much as they are. Although motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, give them the same amount of space you would give any other car. That means not driving into a motorcyclist’s lane just because they’re sticking to one side instead of riding in the center.
It’s also important not to tailgate motorcycles. Just like you would with any other vehicle, keep enough distance between yourself and the motorcycle so you have time to stop if necessary. Don’t tailgate a motorcycle and then rely on the rider to swerve out of your way if you don’t have enough room to brake. If you wouldn’t expect that of a car, don’t expect it of a motorcycle.
Keep in mind that it takes motorcycles longer to stop than other vehicles, especially if it’s rainy or snowy. If you’re approaching an intersection, know that the motorcycle in front of you may begin slowing down earlier than you would normally have to. Respect the rider and slow down so you don’t rear-end them.
Check Your Blind Spots
This is good advice for all vehicles, but especially for motorcycles since they’re so small. If they’re not careful, motorcyclists can end up riding in a car’s blind spot without even knowing it. It’s up to you as a driver to make sure to check your blind spots for any vehicles, but especially for motorcycles, before you make a lane change. Don’t just rely on your mirrors; physically look back to confirm that no one is in your way before switching lanes.
Also, use a turn signal before switching lanes or turning. Even if your blind spots are clear, you may have a vehicle or motorcycle close behind you in the lane you’re about to enter. Remember that motorcycles take longer to stop that other vehicles. Don’t make a lane change if you have to cut off a motorcycle in order to do it; they likely won’t be able to stop in time and may crash into you or someone else in an effort to avoid hitting you.
A Word to Motorcyclists
It’s up to everyone to make the road a safe place for vehicles of all kinds. As a motorcyclist, you’re exposing yourself to more vulnerabilities on your bike than a driver of a typical passenger vehicle. You have no airbags, no seat belts, nothing to shield you from the elements when the weather turns crazy—and in Fort Wayne, as well as the rest of Indiana, you can definitely count on the weather turning crazy.
Although you can’t control how other drivers behave, you’re in complete control of how seriously you take your own safety. That means investing in the right gear, increasing your visibility, obeying all traffic laws, and riding defensively. Make sure to take the necessary precautions to give yourself the best chance of getting home safely.
Help from an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Fort Wayne motorcycle accident, contact an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation.