Cars, Trucks, and Motorcycles: Dangerous Lane Changing Game

One of the leading dangers facing motorcyclists in Maryland and Metro D.C. is the threat of other motorists not seeing them on the road. Bumper sticker campaigns on the tailend of cars warn motorists to always “Look Out For Motorcycles!” One of the biggest problem areas centers on drivers who change lanes too quickly, frequently cutting off motorcyclists or colliding with them in the process.

Changing lanes may seem like a simple act that we all do everyday, but in reality, it can be a very dangerous choice that can trigger a series of catastrophic events. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), riders have less than two seconds to react appropriately to avoid a motorcycle collision. This isn’t much time to prevent a crash from occurring, and is especially disheartening to learn when a few other details are considered:

  • Riders don’t have the protection of a vehicle frame, airbags, anti-lock braking systems, or seat belts to keep them safe during a crash.
  • Significantly small issues can cause catastrophic motorcycle accidents and injuries, whereas car accidents typically require greater impact to cause serious damage or injury.
Why the 2-Second Rule Matters

Size Matters! When comparing vehicle sizes during traffic accidents, size is an important factor to consider. Cars are significantly larger in size than motorcycles. In most cases, bikers are at a severe disadvantage from the start.

Cars have blind spots. Due to the structural design of cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs, several blind spots exist. These can unintentionally become great hiding spots for bikes to slip into. If a motorists tries to change lanes, not seeing a motorcyclist riding in blind spot, a collision could happen almost instantaneously.

What are drivers really looking for in their mirrors? In reality, many drivers aren’t always looking out for motorcyclists in nearby lanes. Because of the relative size differences between the two, auto drivers typically have their eyes peeled for other cars around them.

With only two seconds or so to react accordingly, motorcyclists are provided little opportunity, or space on the road, to avoid a collision when another car starts to move into their lane. If a car clips the bike’s tires, or brushes against the side of the bike in any way, the impact could send the rider flying off of the bike. This could result in serious head or spine injuries, broken bones, other catastrophic injuries, or death.

At Lewis & Tompkins, we understand the complex nature of many motorcycle accidents, and are here to help riders who have been severely injured in these accidents receive the justice they deserve. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to let us know here, or like our Facebook page and find out more information about our firm and how we may be able to help you.

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