Drivers Reminded To Look For Motorcycles On the Road
As we enter peak riding season, more motorcyclists are out on the roads in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are also expected to increase, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. A big reason for this is that many drivers fail to see motorcycles.
"Car drivers are used to looking for other cars and a lot of them aren't used to looking for bikes," said Justin McDonald, the Program Administrator for the Nevada Rider Motorcyclist Safety Program.
"So if they get it in their mind that 'hey there's other vulnerable road users, there's bicyclists, there's pedestrians, motorcyclists' – if they start looking for that they're going to start seeing it."
The consequences of failing to see motorcycles
McDonald pointed out that many drivers can experience unintentional blindness. That's when they fail to notice something that is in plain view – such as a motorcycle.
Unintentional blindness can be caused by:
- Distractions: The driver is using a cell phone, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio or navigation system, talking to passengers, or looking at something on the side of the road.
- Fatigue: The driver is extremely tired, reducing their attention span and ability to focus.
- Daydreaming: Sometimes, drivers get lost in thought and fail to put their attention on the task of driving.
As of 2022, there were 71,000 registered motorcycles and 2.7 million total registered vehicles in the state, with 81 motorcycle accident fatalities that same year.
"Yet that accounts for 21% of all traffic fatalities is motorcyclists," McDonald said. "Such a small number of motorcyclists and such a large percentage of deaths."
There's a lot that drivers can do to improve safety
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers tips for drivers to help reduce fatalities and injuries from motorcycle accidents:
- Yield to motorcycles, especially at intersections.
- Avoid distractions such as your phone.
- Keep in mind that motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles. This smaller size also makes it difficult to judge their speed and distance.
- Treat motorcycles as you would any other vehicle that has the same rights to use the road.
- Use turn signals if you are changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Proceed with caution if you see a motorcyclist with a turn signal on. These signals are often non-canceling, so the operator could have forgotten to turn it off.
- Check all mirrors and blind spots carefully before you change lanes or merge with traffic.
- Allow at least 3 to 4 seconds of following distance when traveling behind a motorcycle.
- Take extra care before turning at an intersection. An approaching motorcycle could be obstructed by traffic or may be traveling faster than you think.
Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney if you've been injured
A motorcycle accident can result in serious injuries that impact motorcyclists physically, emotionally, and financially. Medical expenses can become overwhelming just as victims are left unable to work.
You deserve financial compensation if a negligent driver caused your motorcycle crash, but the claims process can be complicated. Negligent drivers deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies use different tactics to minimize your compensation or deny your claim.
That's why you need an experienced Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer who is ready to fight for you. Attorney Al Lasso of Lasso Injury Law LLC builds strong cases built on facts that insurance companies have to take seriously. If he can't negotiate a settlement that meets your needs, he'll be ready to fight for you in court, where he has won significant awards for clients.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident, learn more about how we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.