For motorcyclists, defensive driving is one key to staying safe on Wisconsin’s roads. To do this, riders need to overcome one of the most basic — and dangerous — assumptions that people tend to make:

Other drivers will see motorcycles.

You see the semitrucks, personal cars and pickup trucks surrounding you on the road. It’s very easy to assume those drivers have seen you, as well, but the reality is that many driver never do. A lot of accidents happen and leave drivers in a state of shock, insisting they never saw the motorcycles they just hit.

Some of it has to do with size. A small motorcycle can easily fit into a car’s blind spot. Some of it has to do with expectation. Drivers anticipate seeing other cars and trucks and may overlook motorcycles.

No matter the reason, motorcyclists have to approach this realistically and always assume drivers have not seen them. Some things they can do to increase their own safety include the following:

  • Motorcyclists can wear bright, highly-visible clothing
  • They can always maintain a safe following distance
  • They can use proper lights, turn signals and hand signals
  • They can avoid blind spots whenever possible
  • They can put on reflective clothes for any rides at night

Of course, motorcyclists are not to blame when a driver doesn’t see them. Drivers have an obligation to pay attention to the road around them and drive safely around motorcycles. So, when a driver makes a serious mistake and causes an accident, it’s important for injured motorcyclists to know what legal rights they may have to financial compensation.

Source: Huffington Post, “7 Myths About Motorcycle Safety That Need To Go Away,” accessed March 15, 2018