Most people assume distracted driving only applies to passenger vehicles, but motorcycle riders are just as at risk for distractions as someone driving a sedan or SUV. In fact, riders may have more distractions to be aware of, since they are literally exposed to the open road and the elements. Whether you are a novice rider or an experienced one, it is important that you know these common distractions and work to avoid them.
Using a Cellphone
Yes, motorcycle riders have been known to use their cellphones while riding too. Talking is a major distraction and often leads to dramatic accidents. Even hands-free devices can increase the likelihood of an accident – because the rider is still focused on the conversation rather than the road ahead. The safest action is simply to pull over and accept the call or put your phone on silent – no call is worth your life or the lives of those on the road with you.
Eating or Smoking
Motorcycles do not necessarily require two hands to operate, and there are plenty of experienced riders that know how to eat a snack, have a drink or even finish a cigarette while on their bike. Anything that occupies the hand and cognitive abilities will take your mind from the road. Instead, sit and relax in a restaurant and eat or concentrate on smoking while your motorcycle is parked.
While you are enjoying the open road, things can become mundane. Riding for long periods of time make it easy for the mind to wander off – especially if you are riding in areas with little urban activity. Also, rider fatigue can increase the chances for daydreaming – meaning you are thinking about something else instead of the road ahead. Regardless, take frequent breaks as a rider so that your body can rest and your mind can rejuvenate. To prevent daydreaming while riding, have your eyes move constantly on the road ahead so that you are aware of your surroundings and not gazing off into your thoughts.
Adjusting the Music
Most riders will equip themselves with an MP3 player for entertainment while riding. Do not adjust your music or try to change selections while riding. Taking your hands from the bike and your eyes from the road is an extreme distraction that can lead to a deadly accident. Instead, wait until you pull over. You can get your music selections in line ahead of time too so that you do not feel the need to adjust after you have already started your ride.
Motorcycle riders are sometimes more distracted by the other drivers on the road than anything else – especially the bad ones. Bad drivers can make a rider angry, distract them from keeping an eye on other cars and hazards, etc. If there is a bad driver in front of you, do your best to avoid them, but do not focus solely on them – remember you are sharing the road with more than one vehicle.
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Contact Horn Law
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact Horn Law to assess your case. Whether you were riding a bike or in a car, distracted drivers must be held accountable for their actions. Call us at 816-795-7500 for a free consultation or fill out an online contact form with your questions.