Know Your Responsibilities
“Accident” implies an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone’s fault or negligence. Most often in traffic, that is not the case. In fact, most people involved in a crash can usually claim some responsibility for what takes place.
Consider a situation where someone tries to squeeze through an intersection on a yellow light that is turning red. Your light turns green. You pull into the intersection without checking for possible latecomers. That is all it takes for the two of you to tangle. It was the other driver’s responsibility to stop. And it was your responsibility to look before pulling out. Neither of you held up your end of the deal. Just because someone else is the first to start the chain of events leading to a crash, it doesn’t leave an of us free of responsibility.
As a rider you can’t be sure that other operators will see you or yield the right of way. To lessen your chances of a crash occurring:
- Be Visible – wear proper clothing, use your headlight (set on dim during daylight hours), and ride in the best lane position to see and be seen.
- Communicate your intentions– use the proper signals, brake light, and lane position.
- Maintain an adequate space cushion – allow extra space when following, being followed, lane sharing, passing, and being passed.
- Search you path of travel 20 seconds ahead.
- Identify and separate multiple hazards in your path of travel.
- Be prepared to act – remain alert and know how to use proper crash-avoidance skills
Blame doesn’t matter when someone is injured in a crash. There is rarely a single cause of any crash. The ability to ride aware, make critical decisions, and carry them out separates the responsible riders from all the rest. Remember, it is up to you to keep from being the cause of, or an unprepared participant in, any crash.
Source: Idaho Motorcycle Operator’s Manual