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How Can I Drive Safely Around Motorcycles in Michigan?

June 29, 2010 by Steven M. Gursten

A motorcycle accident lawyer gives five tips to protect motorcycle riders – and yourselves – on the roads this summer

We’ve all felt it. That scary, unsure-of-yourself feeling when there’s a motorcycle riding very close to your car.

“Will he make a sudden move and I won’t see him?”

“Will he drive too fast and cause a motorcycle accident?”

“Will he be safe around all of these cars and trucks on this busy highway?”

I know the feeling especially well. As a lawyer at Michigan Auto Law – a law firm that handles auto accident cases, including hundreds of motorcycle accidents over the years resulting in catastrophic personal injuries – I’m all too aware of the dangers and worries that come with motorcyclists when they’re involved in a crash.

Keep in mind the sobering statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

* 5,290 motorcyclists were killed in 2008 – an increase of 2 percent from 2007.
* There were 96,000 motorcyclists who sustained personal injuries from motorcycle accidents in 2008.
* Per mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motorcycle accident.

With summer comes more bikers on our roads, and with more people riding motorcycles, there are more crashes. Here are some safety tips I’ve learned through my experience handling so many motorcycle accident lawsuits in Michigan.

These tips are primarily for drivers of cars and trucks when traveling near motorcyclists. Hopefully, they will help prevent motorcycle crashes and save lives.

1. You have to look for motorcyclists.
Use your eyes and mirrors to see what’s around, and check your blind spots when you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections. Look, and look again. Motorcycles can be easy to miss when we are used to looking out for cars and trucks.

2. Focus on driving.
This tip prevents all types of auto accidents, not just motorcycle accidents. Always avoid texting, hang up that phone, put down the MP3 player and pay attention.

3. Always use your turn signals.
Signal your intentions for everyone’s safety.

4. Give people riding motorcycles or crotch rockets room.
Don’t tailgate or pass too closely.

5. Take your time.

Nothing is as important as the safety of your loved ones, yourself, and the others with whom you share the road.

All these principles can be boiled down to this paraphrase of the Golden Rule: Drive near others as you would have others drive near you.

Attention bikers: Take a look at my list of 15 motorcycle driving tips to keep you safe.

Steven M. Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law. Steve received the highest motorcycle accident settlement in Michigan last year, according to year-end rankings by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He is recognized as one of the nation’s top experts in serious motorcycle accident injury cases and motorcycle insurance litigation. Steve has spoken at trial seminars on motorcycle accident lawsuits, and is available for comment on Michigan’s motorcycle accident laws and personal injury cases.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Sporty driver

Related information:

What happens when a biker causes an accident in Michigan?

Insurance for Motorcycle Riders

Road Defect Claims for Motorcycle Accidents in Michigan

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with an auto accident attorney – anytime. We can help.

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