How other drivers put motorcyclists in harm’s way

Summer is the ideal time for motorcyclists in Tennessee. Good weather, open roads and beautiful scenery across the state all make hitting the road irresistible. Unfortunately, for many riders, this busy season ended with a crash.

The after-effects of a wreck can linger for months. Recovering – both physically and financially – can take a long time. But this is the reality for dozens of motorcyclists as we enter the cooler months.

Motorcyclist crash statistics

The number of motorcycle crashes each year that result in a fatal or serious injury has remained generally steady in recent years. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there have been 2,113 such crashes from the start of 2018 through August of 2020.

One out of every five of those crashes resulted in a motorcyclist’s death. That left the remaining 1,968 with a serious injury – wounds that may have resulted in time away from work, expensive medical bills and considerable pain and suffering.

How other drivers put motorcyclists in danger

Despite what some people may think, many motorcycle crashes are caused by other drivers making poor decisions. These behaviors put the more-vulnerable motorcycle operator at risk.

Distracted and drunk driving remain an issue. However, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office has highlighted some lesser-known common driver behaviors that put motorcyclists at risk. This can include:

  • Neglecting to thoroughly check blind spots for nearby motorcyclists
  • Misjudging a motorcyclist’s speed – and not providing enough distance
  • Failing to signal in a timely manner, so a motorcyclist can anticipate their movement
  • Poor use of rear-view and side-view mirrors

Motorcycle safety is not something drivers should treat lightly. A motorcyclist is five times more likely to be injured in a crash than an occupant in a passenger car. When this harm is the direct result of another motorist’s neglectful decisions, holding them accountable can be a key step in the recovery process.