(2) Be Aware
(3) Stay within Your limits
Being focused means staying out of blind spots, keeping a safe distance, and always providing yourself an out. Knowing who and what is behind you is key. Those vehicles entering traffic from side streets need to be watched carefully, and you should be aware of where they are at all times.
Aggressive and defensive driving is also critical for a motorcycle rider. Keeping eye contact with other vehicles as you take your turn in a right-of-way (ROW) situation is proper and will assure that the driver of the other vehicle will acknowledge your ROW. There is a level of preemption that a good motorcycle rider has every time s/he gets on his or her bike.
Protective gear is helpful, but it won’t make you a safe rider. Know your bike, and know its limits. Know your limits.
Unfortunately, there is not always a lot you can do for the driver that simply does not see you, makes an illegal and unexpected u-turn, or appears to be looking at you but charges ahead into your lane. There are now more distracted drivers on the road than there have ever been. Drivers are texting, talking on cell phones, and/or not giving the road and other traffic their full attention. Motorcyclists are often not seen due to car and truck drivers only looking for car and truck traffic.
Do what you can to be visible, make eye contact, keep focused, be aware, and stay within your limits.
Contact Shefman Law. We have been litigating bike and motorcycle accident cases for over 12 years and have tried many to verdict. We will work with you to make sure the insurance companies do not take advantage of you and that you are compensated fairly.
As Austin’s streets become busier, your best chance of keeping yourself safe is to drive defensively and to learn from more experienced bikers. Look for motorcycle safety classes in your area and, most importantly, ride safely.