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Oklahoma Drivers Urged To Share the Road With Motorcyclists

Man rides a motorcycle in the city.

Motorcycle accidents can have devastating consequences, often resulting in severe injuries, permanent disability, or even death. People who survive these crashes can also face significant financial burdens due to medical costs, lost wages, and potential long-term care needs.

As Tulsa Police Lt. Paul Madden told News on 6, motorcycle crashes are different from other motor vehicle crashes.

“The level and likelihood of severe injury is significantly higher with motorcycles,” he said, adding that there were multiple factors involved. Madden noted that one such factor is other motorists on the roadway.

Attention and consideration can help reduce motorcycle accidents

As we recognize Motorcycle Awareness Month this May, here are some things Oklahoma drivers can do to share the road safely and help prevent motorcycle wrecks.

Increase Your Scanning

Cars have blind spots, but motorcyclists are especially prone to disappearing into them due to their smaller profile. Minimize blind spot dangers by actively scanning mirrors and performing shoulder checks before changing lanes, turning, or merging. A quick glance isn’t enough – develop the habit of a deliberate head turn to ensure a clear path.

See Motorcycles, Not Just Cars

Motorcycles can be harder to see, especially in bright sunlight or dusk. Train yourself to actively look for motorcycles, not just assume they aren’t there. Pay extra attention at intersections, where left-turn accidents are particularly common.

Maintain Safe Following Distances

Tailgating is dangerous for any vehicle, but it’s especially reckless with motorcycles. Increase your following distance to give yourself ample reaction time in case the motorcycle needs to stop suddenly. A good rule of thumb is to use the three-second rule, but consider increasing it to four or even five seconds in bad weather or heavy traffic.

Use Turn Signals Properly

Don’t make last-minute lane changes or turns without proper signaling. Motorcyclists rely on your signals to anticipate your movements; sudden maneuvers can catch them off guard. Use your turn signals well in advance of lane changes or turns and ensure they are functioning correctly.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio can take your attention away from the road. Motorcyclists move quickly, and a momentary lapse in focus can have devastating consequences. Put down your phone and focus solely on driving.

Respect the Speed Limit

Speeding reduces your reaction time and increases the severity of any potential accident. Obey the speed limit and adjust your speed for weather conditions and traffic congestion. Remember, motorcycles can handle curves differently than cars, so be extra cautious when approaching bends.

Yield the Right of Way

Always yield the right of way to motorcycles at intersections and when merging onto highways. Don’t assume a motorcycle saw you or will stop – defensive driving is key. Look twice, especially before making left turns, to ensure no motorcycles are approaching your blind spot.

Be Mindful of "Dooring"

A common accident scenario involves a car driver opening their door into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Before opening your car door, check your mirrors and blind spot for approaching motorcycles.

Be Predictable

Erratic driving is a major cause of accidents. Maintain a steady speed, avoid weaving in and out of traffic, and signal all lane changes and turns well in advance. Predictable driving allows other drivers, including motorcyclists, to anticipate your movements and react accordingly. Avoid aggressive driving tactics like tailgating or cutting motorcyclists off.

If you’ve been injured, call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney

Recovering financial compensation after a crash caused by a negligent driver can be difficult. Drivers deny doing anything wrong. Insurance companies try to minimize your claim so they can pay as little as possible. That’s why you need an experienced Tulsa motorcycle accident lawyer fighting for you.

Lawter & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PLLC has a long history of helping the injured in Oklahoma. We’ve earned a reputation for getting clients the compensation they need and deserve through verdicts and settlements. We’re focused on helping them make things right.

If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident in Tulsa or anywhere in Oklahoma, it’s important to get trusted legal advice. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

"I would like to express how much I appreciate Matt's handling of my motorcycle accident case. Not only did I get a fair settlement, but all stress of dealing with bill collectors disappeared. To be honest I had always thought that 'pain and suffering' was just a lawyer gimmick - boy, was I wrong! You deserve compensation and you shouldn't have to deal with doctor bills and collection agencies on top of the physical pain! I was very impressed with Matt's attention to detail, very professional but he was no 'stuffed shirt'. Blanca was great too, my wife really liked her! I hope I don't need your help again anywhere soon, but if I do, I know who I'll call! Thank you so much!" -Glenn, Maysville, OK

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