With the Memorial Day holiday now behind us and summer fast on its way, we feel compelled to advise caution to those who will be riding their motorcycles around the state this coming season and on into fall. As with any discussion of biking safety, one must certainly remind those riders who venture out on hot summer weekends (and especially warm-weather holidays) that some drivers will not be paying strict attention to the road; accidents can and will occur in the coming weeks and months — and there is little anyone can do about it.
Of course, the dangers posed by summer traffic are nothing new to most motorcycle riders, since every motorcyclist worth his or her salt understands the intrinsic risk associated with such a dynamic and exhilarating sport. It always seems that the number of riders on Maryland roadways increases in direct proportion to the rise in average temperature. With those increased numbers comes, hopefully, a greater awareness on the part of car and truck drivers as to the existence of bikes sharing the traffic lanes. One can always hope, at least.
Still, as with most aspects of life, not everyone is paying the best attention to traffic conditions as they should be. This has always been the case, but over recent years with the increasing availability and use of cell phones, smartphones, mobile email and other hand-held apps, the fight for a driver’s attention is being lost by the task at hand, namely operating a motor vehicle safely and thoughtfully.
Bikers know this as well as anyone and they’ll be the first to tell you that most “four-wheelers” hardly realize when their motorcycle is nearby. If you think that being “invisible” could be a disadvantage for a bike rider, then you can understand why most bikers operate their mounts as if they were truly invisible to other drivers around them. When you consider the potential aftermath from being hit by a commercial truck or automobile while riding a smaller and lighter motorcycle, you can begin to understand the mindset of most riders.
As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my legal staff have seen how a seemingly innocuous car or truck roadway incident can turn into a critical or even fatal event for a nearby biker. The fact that motorcyclists have next to no protection — at least in terms of the kind of “armor” that passenger car occupants have surrounding them at all times.
Motorcycle-car-related traffic collisions happen most any month of the year, however the warm weather always seems to bring about a new crop of drivers and accidents, many of them caused by driver distraction. Even though by June, so-called four-wheelers have developed a fair level of awareness for those bikers out on the road.
Nevertheless, even when car and truck drivers understand that there are larger volumes of motorcyclists on the road, the ever-present danger of driver inattention and/or ignorance of the traffic conditions around a bad driver will transfer the potential of bodily injury almost directly into the laps of bikers all across the state. That said, all we can say is to use your common sense and stay safe.