At Speaks Law Firm, we devote a good portion of our North Carolina personal injury law practice to helping clients injured in traffic accidents near Wilmington. We even give away our book, The North Carolina Auto Injury Book, for FREE to any North Carolina resident who wants a copy. Now, that’s a useful book. It’s a great introduction to our viewpoint and to our legal practice. It helps you understand the “what comes next” of coping with injuries after a North Carolina vehicle collision.
And that’s the major problem with the book. It’s focused on the aftermath of your injuries. Wouldn’t it be better if those injuries never happened in the first place?
Motorcycles: a case study
Let’s take motorcycles, for example. Statistics tell us that, on a per-vehicle or per-mile basis, motorcycle operators are far more likely than passenger vehicle drivers to be involved in a traffic accident. When accidents occur, bikers are much more likely to be injured or killed. Car and truck drivers who see a risky situation developing with a motorcycle are in danger of making a last-minute correction that puts their own vehicles in danger of a collision, too.
In a culture of mutual responsibility, all drivers should take a little extra effort to watch out for motorcycles. The following nine tips for car and truck drivers can be helpful in reducing the rate of motorcycle collisions in North Carolina:
- Regularly check for—and anticipate the presence of—motorcycles on the road with you. Bikes are easier to overlook than passenger vehicles, and some drivers mentally erase them from consideration. Concentrating on road awareness can offset this tendency.
- Learn to estimate a motorcycle’s speed. Bikes are small, and you are conditioned to believe that small vehicles are farther away. Train yourself to think differently about motorcycles.
- Be especially wary at intersections. A common pattern for two-vehicle collisions involving motorcycles occurs when a passenger vehicle turns left at a corner in front of an oncoming bike.
- Monitor your blind spots. Motorcycles have a narrow profile. They can hide in seven or more distinct locations behind or adjacent to your passenger vehicle—locations you cannot view clearly with your mirrors. Be absolutely certain your way is clear before you change lanes.
- Use extra care if your line of sight is blocked. Large vehicles traveling near you can obstruct your vision. Wait for that van or SUV to move away so you can make sure it wasn’t hiding a motorcycle from your view.
- Give the motorcycle room. You should allocate as much space to a motorcycle as you would to a car. Always allow a four-second following distance.
- Be aware of the road surface. A bike may not be able to accelerate or stop as quickly as normal on wet pavement or gravel. Potholes, railroad crossings, pavement grooves, road debris, and other obstacles that you may find annoying can be major threats to the biker. Anticipate that a motorcyclist may choose to maneuver around road obstacles.
- Watch for lane splitting. When traffic is at a standstill or moving slowly, a motorcycle can maneuver between lanes and proceed faster than other vehicles. Don’t advance your car or truck until you are sure a motorcycle isn’t moving into the space.
- Respect the other drivers’ right of way. Motorcycles have the same rights on the road as any other vehicle.
When an accident happens
Our personal injury law firm protects your rights in North Carolina traffic injury cases. We offer legal representation for these cases based on contingency fees. We are not paid attorney fees unless you receive compensation after we win damages at trial or you accept a settlement.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in New Hanover County or the surrounding area, call the Speaks Law Firm toll-free at 877-593-4233 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with a lawyer. We are ready to seek the maximum compensation available for your case.