In May, the U.S. Department of Transportation marks National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The goal is to educate the public about what they can do to reduce the risk of causing fatal and severe injuries to riders in Birmingham and the rest of the country.
Tips for drivers to avoid hitting motorcycles
In 2019, motorcycle collisions caused 14 percent of all U.S. highway fatalities, with a total of 5,014 riders killed. Many of these tragedies would not have happened had a four-wheeled motorist taken reasonable precautions, such as:
- Always yield to motorcycles when making a turn at an intersection. Check your mirrors and blind spots for bikes before starting your turn.
- Respect a rider’s right to the road. Don’t try to pass a motorcycle within your lane.
- Give a rider ahead of you at least three to four seconds’ worth of space. Never tailgate a motorcycle.
- Drive sober. If you are drunk or high, call a cab or rideshare or have a friend drive you home.
Alabama drivers owe the same duty of due care to motorcycle riders as they do everybody else on the road. When a motorist does not live up to this duty by driving recklessly or negligently, people can get killed or disabled for life. Someone who causes harm to a rider this way should be the one to pay for their victim’s damages, not the victim and their loved ones.
It is up to injured riders or their estates to pursue compensation after a motorcycle accident. The process can be complex at times, but it can also give you a sense of justice being served in the end.