Four-Wheel Drivers Pulls In-Front of Motorcyclist
A motorcyclist was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a man driving a truck pulled out in front of him. The crash occurred on Kansas Expressway near Kearney Street at about 1pm. The motorcyclist was headed southbound when the truck driver pulled out in front of the motorcycle.
The large majority of motorcycle accidents fall into a few general scenarios, which I have covered below. By being aware of these common types of motorcycle crashes can help us all prepare to expect the unexpected and hopefully help keep Missouri’s roadways safer for biker and four wheel drivers.
Car Pulls Out In Front of Biker
This is an all too common occurrence on our roadways. A motorcyclist is riding along, when suddenly a car pulls out of a side street into its path. The motorcyclist is forced to hit the brakes, but it’s too late. Her or she collides directly into the side of the car, maybe even dislodged into the road.
How to Prevent These Types of Motorcycle Accidents
The best way to prevent against a car, truck, SUV driver from pulling out in front of you from a junction is to pay extra attention to any vehicle waiting to come out of a junction. Look at the driver inside. Unless they are looking directly at you, they may be about to pull out in front of you. The best thing you as the motorcyclist can do is to slow down. In fact, even if the four-wheel driver may have noticed you, it doesn’t mean that they have. As a motorcyclist we have to always expect the worst, and act accordingly.
Truck Rear-Ends Motorcyclist
Being rear-ended by a car, truck or SUV typically happened when you as the motorcyclist has to stop suddenly. Perhaps at a junction or traffic light, and the four-wheel driver is too close behind you. They smash into from behind, hitting your back wheel and causing you to topple over.
The reality is that there is very little a motorcyclist can do to prevent this type of crash from happening other than making sure to slow down gradually where possible. Yet, braking suddenly is at times unavoidable, so the responsibility to maintain a safe distance lies solely on the vehicle behind you. The fact that a motorcyclist is unable to see the vehicle until it is too late, along with the fact the bike is usually stationary makes taking an evasive action impossible.
Should you find a car in front of you at a junction, it may be wise to move to the filter to the front of the queue, using any waiting cars as a buffer. This saves running the risk of being exposed and hit by a negligent four-wheel driver. I also suggest adopting the safety positing, leaving your foot resting on the back brake lever, allowing the brake light to come on. This could warn the driver being you of your presence.
Four-Wheel Drivers Changing Lanes into Bikes Path
I have seen this one done before driving on I-44 heading up to St. Louis. A four-wheel driver decides to join the fast lane without looking. If they don’t see a pair of headlights, they assume it’s clear. Often four-wheel drivers do see a motorcyclist, but they misjudge the speed of the bike, and assume they can join the fast lane and get away before the bike catches up. This action by a four-wheel driver can have deadly consequences. A motorcyclist can lock up brakes, potentially throwing themselves off the bike or striking the vehicle. No matter what the speed the bike is carrying, the motorcyclist is likely to be left on the road and surrounded by fast moving traffic. Not ideal of motorcyclists!
The best way to avoid these types of crashes is to better understand potential blind spots of a four-wheel driver and avoid them at all costs. If you drive into one of these blind spots, then quickly move into a position where you can be clearly seen.
Other tell-tale-signs that a four-wheel driver may changes lanes include checking their mirrors, which causes the car to wander slightly. Take this one step further and actually look at what the driver is doing, if they are moving their head around, its more than likely they are about to make a lane change.
Please Stay Safe
It has been a very disturbing year for motorcycle accidents in our community. I encourage all of you, four-wheel drivers and motorcyclists to please slow down, put down the phones, eliminate the distractions, and please look twice, actively look for motorcycles, and help keep everyone safe on our roadways.