Motorcycle riders at high risk in drivers' blind spots

In Walker County, Alabama, motorcycle riders must always be aware of the potential negligence of motorists in order to avoid accidents. One particular hazard for riders is vehicle blind spots. These vary due to design and other factors, but anywhere along the sides of a vehicle is an extremely dangerous place for a motorcyclist to ride.

According to, motorcycle riders should always be prepared for passenger vehicles to make sudden moves into their lanes and cause a sideswipe collision. One technique a rider can use to stay safer on the road is to stay behind a vehicle except during a direct move to pass. Often, a distracted or negligent driver may fail to perform a head check, which has led some riders to refer to blind spots as "death spots."

Automobile manufacturers have been increasing the level of safety on the road through in-vehicle technology, and one that may impact motorcycles is the blind spot monitoring system. Although these systems vary, their primary function is to use radar and camera technology to monitor the areas beside the vehicle that the driver cannot see. If there is an object in the blind spot when the driver moves in that direction, the system gives an alert.

The American Automobile Association performed a study on the effectiveness of the technology, including how well it responds to motorcycle riders. In general, the systems reviewed took up to 26 percent longer to notify the driver of a rider in the blind spot than it did to signal the presence of a full-size sedan. Researchers also expressed concern that drivers would be more likely to rely too heavily on the technology and become negligent about performing head and mirror checks, raising the risk of accidents.

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