Motorcycle accidents are not uncommon in and around the Denver area. Unfortunately, these incidents often occur due to the negligent actions of other drivers on the roadway. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common mistakes that vehicle drivers make when operating around motorcycles throughout the city. By understanding these common errors, drivers can take steps to prevent collisions with motorcyclists.
These Common Errors Are Fixable
When we examine the most common errors that drivers make when operating around motorcyclists, we can see that most of these issues are something that drivers can take steps to avoid.
- Tailgating. Anytime a driver follows a vehicle in front of them too closely, they are tailgating. This type of driving is always dangerous, particularly around motorcycles. A motorcycle is a smaller, lighter vehicle that can come to a complete stop in a much shorter time frame than most vehicles, which can catch passenger vehicle drivers off guard if they’re following the motorcycle too closely. If a motorcyclist has to come to a complete stop, the driver behind them may not be able to stop in time, which could result in a dangerous rear-end collision.
- Turning left without an arrow. All drivers have to use extreme caution when they turn left at an intersection when they do not have a green arrow. If a driver fails to judge the correct speed and distance of approaching vehicles, this can lead to a severe accident. Motorcycles are smaller than traditional passenger cars, and it can be difficult for drivers to correctly judge the speed and distance of a motorcycle about to come through an intersection. This could lead to a motorist taking a left-hand turn in front of an approaching motorcycle, leading to a deadly T-bone collision.
- Not checking mirrors or blind spots. Most individuals are used to having to check their mirrors and blind spots for other cars, trucks, or larger vehicles. However, motorcycles are smaller and can fit inside of a motorist’s blind spot very easily. Drivers have to be mindful about checking mirrors and blind spots anytime they are on the roadway.
- Road rage. It is not uncommon to run into individuals who have serious problems with motorcyclists on the roadway. Many motorists see motorcyclists as inherently dangerous, and this can lead to heightened road rage in the event a disagreement occurs between a motorist and a motorcyclist. Unfortunately, road rage incidents can lead to severe accidents and injuries for a less protected motorcyclist.
- Passing too closely. Anytime a motorist decides to pass a motorcyclist, whether in another lane going in the same direction or when crossing into the opposite lane to pass a slower motorcycle, they have to be careful to give the motorcyclist adequate space. If a vehicle clips the motorcycle or the actual motorcyclist’s body, this can completely knock the motorcyclist off the bike.
Information available from the Colorado Department of Transportation shows that motorcycles represent just 3% of vehicles on the roadway across the state, but motorcyclist fatalities accounted for around 22% of all traffic fatalities during the most recent reporting year. It is crucial for all motorists and motorcyclists to understand how vulnerable motorcyclists are on the roadways and take steps to prevent vehicle accidents from occurring in the first place. Contact our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys today.