Eight people have lost their lives in traffic accidents in Clarksville in 2017 thus far, and four of them were on motorcycles. In response, the Clarksville Police Department wants drivers to be more cautious when they’re on the city’s roadways, especially when they’re driving near motorcycles.
Per a report by Clarksville Now, a spokesperson with the CPD says that drivers and motorcyclists should work together to reduce the risk of accidents. He says that there are actions that can be taken by both that can help improve everyone’s safety on streets, highways, and interstates throughout Clarksville and Montgomery County.
8 Safety Tips from the CPD
The CPD provided the following eight safety tips for all drivers and motorcyclists to follow:
- Always be on the lookout for motorcyclists.
Many motorcycle accidents occur because drivers simply aren’t used to paying attention to or being on the lookout for people traveling on two wheels. Spotting motorcycles quickly requires a trained and focus eye, especially when drivers are used to only looking for four-wheeled vehicles. It’s especially important to watch for motorcycles when making left turns.
- Give motorcyclists plenty of room.
Motorcyclists need to use their entire lanes to stay safe. Unlike drivers in cars, trucks, and SUVs, motorcyclists must constantly scan the road and the path ahead of them for even minor obstacles and potential hazards, including potholes, debris, and loose pavement. Giving motorcyclists their full lanes helps them more easily navigate around dangers.
- Remember the differences between motorcycles and cars.
Motorcyclists don’t always slow down exclusively with their brakes. They can downshift to reduce their speed, which means their brake lights won’t come on. In addition, motorcycle turn signals don’t turn off automatically after turns are completed. Keep a close eye on any motorcycles near you and be prepared for the unexpected and never be too reliant on signals and lights.
- Don’t forget that motorcyclists are protected by traffic laws.
Although they’re unenclosed two-wheel vehicles, motorcycles get the same rights and protection on the road as other vehicles. However, that also means that motorcyclists must share the same responsibilities as other drivers.
- Wear protective, bright, and reflective clothing.
As a motorcyclist, your only source of protection during an accident is the equipment you wear. Make sure you wear a full-face helmet and full riding gear, including a riding jacket, pants, gloves, and boots. In addition, make sure your clothing is easily seen by other drivers by choosing gear that’s brightly colored and reflective. Doing so will increase your profile and visibility during inclement weather and at night.
- Ride in a manner that makes you easily seen.
Think about your lane positioning and do your best to always stay out of drivers’ blind spots. In addition, always ride with your headlights on, regardless of time of day. This will make you easier to spot at a distance. Finally, give yourself plenty of room to maneuver around obstacles or to brake in the event of an emergency.
- Use your lights to indicate your intentions.
It’s important to make sure drivers know what you’re planning on doing before you do it. That means always using your turn signal and remembering to turn it off after completing your turn. You should also brake when you need to slow down rather than coasting or downshifting, as that activates your brake light and gives drivers the signal to slow down.
- Be courteous and avoid aggressive driving.
For their weight and size, motorcycles often have extremely high horsepower and torque. That means they can reach high speeds very quickly, making acceleration much faster and easier than most passenger vehicles. However, it’s important to avoid any aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding, passing, or lane splitting, as doing so can significantly increase your risk of an accident.
Motorcycles are common sights on Clarksville’s roadways, especially with summer winding down and the cooler weather of autumn fast approaching. As the CPD says, the best way for motorcyclists and drivers to stay safe is to have a mutual understanding and respect on the city’s streets, highways, and interstates, and to always obey the speed limit and follow all traffic laws.
If you or someone you know was injured in a motorcycle accident, Matt Hardin Law’s team of Clarksville motorcycle accident lawyers may be able to assist. We’ve helped many victims and their families get compensation for medical bills and lost wages after motorcycle crashes that were caused by someone else’s negligence, and we want to help you, too.
Contact us today by dialing (931) 201-4478 or complete a free online form.