If you’re a motorcyclist, you might be under the impression that you will only encounter dangerous situations while actively riding your motorcycle on a freeway or highway. Other motor vehicles tailgating, cutting you off, or otherwise failing to share the road with you are certainly frequent causes of motorcycle accidents. However, you should also be aware of the potential risk you face on the local roads, particularly when riding past parked cars or parking lots. Here are just a few situations against which you should remain on guard.
Watch out for drivers not watching out for motorcycles
If you are riding down a local road along which parking is permitted, there are two significant dangers you should prepare for:
- People exiting parked vehicles suddenly
- Drivers pulling out of a parking spot carelessly
For the first scenario, anticipate that the person in a parked car (either on the driver or passenger’s side) might suddenly fling their car door open wide to exit the vehicle. If you are in the process of passing, this could cause you to either hit the open door or the person themselves.
Obviously, you want to avoid either outcome. To do so, make sure you stay toward the leftmost side of the lane in which you’re traveling while passing parked cars if you are traveling down a one-way road. However, if you are driving down a two-lane road where the second lane contains oncoming traffic, stay toward the center of your lane. This allows you to increase the buffer zone surrounding you on all sides, which you should always maintain when riding your motorcycle.
The second scenario is the one that seriously injured Barry Weiss of Storage Wars fame. As we shared in a previous blog post, Mr. Weiss and his passenger were seriously injured when a driver backed out of a parking space without observing that there was a motorcycle behind their car. To avoid a similar fate, always assume the worst – that the driver of the parked vehicle will pull out of their parking spot without noticing your presence. If you see a car’s taillights come on or see that there is someone sitting in the driver’s seat, slow down or change lanes in anticipation.
Be particularly vigilant against cars pulling out of parking spaces and immediately executing U-turns, as they are likely to cut you off and block your option for changing lanes, leaving you very little alternative for avoiding a crash. The best you can do in this situation is slow down as much as possible, honk your horn, flash your headlight, and/or wave – whatever it takes to draw the driver’s attention before they complete their maneuver and strikes you.
Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer
If you are thrown off your bike or otherwise seriously injured in a motorcycle accident with a car, Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer Scott J. Corwin is available to help you pursue just financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Please contact our office for a free initial consultation at 866-477-1011.