Sharing the road with motorcycles and understanding their driving patterns is so important. And yet, it’s a skill that many driving courses do not cover. Stick around for information on Virginia motorcycle laws and tips for sharing the road with motorcyclists safely.
Safety Tips for Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
Understanding motorcycle laws and how they maneuver through traffic can guide drivers in avoiding accidents with other motorists. Here’s a look at 5 tips for safely sharing the road.
1. Watch Out in Intersections
The majority of motorcycle accidents happen in intersections when drivers are turning left and a motorcyclist is going straight through the intersection.
Checking your surroundings carefully before turning left can help avoid these accidents and protect motorcyclists. And if you can’t gauge a motorcyclist’s speed, just wait before making the turn. The extra few seconds will be worth it to avoid an accident.
2. Understand Your Blind Spots
While side-view and rearview mirrors improve visibility on the road, know where your blind spots are. Keeping your blind spots in mind and watching your mirrors every few seconds can help you avoid accidents with all types of motorists, but especially motorcycles.
You might see motorcyclists weave in and out of lanes and feel frustrated with their actions. But this weaving maneuver is often to avoid a vehicle’s blind spot.
3. Stay Alert
Looking away from the road for just a second or two could take the life of a motorcyclist. Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, they are harder to spot. Coming around a curve you might see a motorcycle at the last minute. If you’re going too fast or not paying attention, you might not stop in time to protect the motorcyclist and yourself.
4. Give Them Space
Never follow a motorcyclist closely. They need added space in case anything goes wrong. If they hit a slippery patch of road and slide their bike, you want to have plenty of room to stop. Motorcycles can break faster than cars, which means you need plenty of reaction time to avoid a collision.
5. Be Calm and Courteous
While you might not understand why motorcyclists drive the way that they do, try to stay calm and give them the benefit of the doubt. Drivers who become frustrated or angry with a motorcyclist might drive aggressively, which can lead to accidents. Stay calm and be as courteous to motorcycles as you can no matter what you think of their driving.
Virginia Motorcycle Laws You Should Know
- Motorcycles are permitted on all Virginia roadways where cars are permitted.
- Motorcyclists must carry a special license classification by passing a knowledge test and road skills test.
- Motorcyclists must wear an approved helmet and eye protection.
- Motorcyclists can legally ride two abreast in a lane
- Motorcyclists can use all HOV lanes and are exempt from occupancy restrictions.
Negligence in Motorcycle Accident Cases
When evaluating fault in a motorcycle accident, the courts will look to see which vehicle operator was negligent in their vehicle handling. Negligence can be found in the form of breaking a law, such as speeding or running a traffic light, or it can be due to reckless driving, such as driving aggressively or engaging in road rage.
You have a duty of care to all other motorists regardless of the vehicle they are operating. If you fail to provide that duty of care and cause an accident, the courts might find you guilty of negligence, which could lead to serious consequences.
For an outstanding Virginia legal defense for motorcycle or car accidents, contact Geoff McDonald & Associates. Our personal injury lawyers are excellent and will fight for your rights in court.