Blind Spot AccidentsBlind Spot Accidents: A Motorcyclist’s Greatest Risk

May 1, 20240

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, offering feelings of freedom and adventure as you cruise down the open road. However, motorcyclists also face serious risks that drivers of cars and trucks do not. One of the biggest dangers is the blind spot – areas around a vehicle that are hidden from the driver’s view. For motorcyclists, blind spots pose a major threat and are the cause of many serious and fatal accidents every year.

What Is a Blind Spot?

A blind spot refers to any area around a vehicle that cannot be directly observed by the driver, either through the rearview or side mirrors. All vehicles have blind spots, but they tend to be more prominent in larger vehicles like trucks, buses, and SUVs. The most significant blind spots are next to the rear corners of the vehicle, known as the rear blind spot. This area is completely invisible to the driver using only the mirrors. Blind spots also exist on the sides of the vehicle, next to the front doors. These are less severe but can still easily obscure a motorcycle driving alongside.

How Blind Spots Affect Motorcyclists

Blind spots are dangerous for all road users, but they pose a particularly high risk for motorcyclists. There are two key reasons for this:

  1. Motorcycles are much smaller and narrower than other vehicles. They can easily fit into a car or truck’s blind spot, going completely unnoticed by the driver. Where a regular car might be visible in the periphery or mirrors, a motorcycle can be totally obscured.
  2. Motorcycles often maneuver in between lanes during traffic. This increases the chances of moving through a vehicle’s blind spots compared to staying within a single lane. A motorcycle may dart into a blind spot with no warning.

These two factors mean it is very common for motorcycles to be hidden from view due to a blind spot. A driver may change lanes, turn, or pull out into the space occupied by the motorcycle, leading to a collision. Even vehicles that seem far away can drift rapidly into a motorcycle’s path from a blind spot in the time it takes to check the mirrors and blind spot.

Common Blind Spot Accidents

There are three primary blind spot accident scenarios that motorcyclists must be aware of:

  • Lane Changes: A vehicle in another lane decides to change into the motorcyclist’s lane, not seeing the bike in the blind spot. This often occurs on multi-lane roads and freeways.
  • Turns: A vehicle turning left or right at an intersection does not spot the oncoming motorcycle, colliding with the unseen bike. This is common at busy intersections.
  • Merging: A vehicle merges into the motorcyclist’s lane from an on-ramp, driveway, or parking lot. The bike goes unseen in the vehicle’s rear or side blind spot.

In each case, the driver fails to properly check their blind spots before maneuvering and does not detect the relatively small motorcycle, leading to a crash. These accidents frequently lead to motorcyclist injuries and fatalities.

Avoiding Blind Spot Crashes

While car and truck drivers need to be more aware of diligently checking their blind spots, the responsibility ultimately falls on motorcyclists to ride defensively against this threat. Some tips include:

  • Give vehicles space: Don’t ride in a vehicle’s blind spot. Either drop back or accelerate past their lane.
  • Avoid lingering between lanes: Split lanes when necessary but don’t remain there. Move fully into a lane when possible.
  • Use lights: Keep headlights and taillights on to stand out more to other drivers.
  • Wear bright colors: Bright riding gear helps motorcycles stand out against the surroundings.
  • Use horns/signals: Sound the horn or use turn signals to draw extra attention before changing lanes or passing.
  • Be visible at intersections: When approaching an intersection, move to a lane position more visible to crossing traffic.
  • Check blind spots yourself: Quickly turn your head to check over your shoulder for any unseen hazards when changing lanes.
  • Be alert and anticipate: Ride defensively and predict when a car might change lanes or turn across your path so you can take preventive action.

By understanding this major danger zone, motorcyclists can help reduce the chance of becoming another devastating blind spot statistic.

Motorcycle Lawsuits

Motorcycle riders injured in blind spot accidents often file lawsuits seeking compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering. Successful suits can recover significant damages for injured riders.

If you think you have a claim, visit our offices at: 700 Bishop St, Ste 2100, Honolulu, HI, 96813.

Or call us today for a free consultation on (808) 745-1592.

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