Whether you have been riding for a few months or for several years, there are common biker bad habits that many bikers share that can land you in a lot of trouble with a personal injury attorney down the road. If you are guilty of any of these poor patterns of behavior, then now is the time to start thinking about your safety and that of others on our St. Petersburg roadways.
Waiting Too Long Before Overtaking
Riding right up to someone’s tailgate before finally deciding to pass is a dangerous endeavor. Not only does it drastically reduce the time that you have to react should the car in front of you slow suddenly, it can also enrage the other driver. Remember, it takes more than two seconds to come to a complete stop when riding 40 miles per hour. That is the equivalent of 105 feet. At 70 miles per hour, that increases to more than four seconds and more than 275 feet. The average car length is approximately 18 feet, so, at 70 miles per hour, it is going to take the average biker 15 car lengths to come to a stop. What are you going to do if the person that you are tailgating slams the car into park in a fit of rage?
Good driving means the ability to forecast the future – to a certain extent anyway. How does one do this? It comes with focus and attention to what lies ahead. If you are looking at the road a few mere yards in front of your face, then you aren’t going to be able to react quickly should an obstacle appear. As mentioned above, stopping distances are rather lengthy, so spotting potential obstacles as soon as possible is essential. Experts suggest that you should see where you are going to be in four seconds. If you can’t see that far, then you need to slow your speeds.
It’s illegal, except in California, so if you are doing it, then you are breaking the law. There is a good reason for it being illegal in Saint Petersburg. Also known as “filtering,” lane-splitting only makes sense when traffic is at a near standstill. Unfortunately, bikes become too comfortable with the action and put themselves at greater risk when riding the center line at high speeds. The action results in very little lateral space and drastically increased risk of being hit by oncoming traffic.
Overtaking at Junctions
People are notoriously indecisive on the road. A sudden realization that the gas tank is running low, an unfamiliarity with the area, or a simple changing of minds can lead a driver to turn without looking. If you are in the process of overtaking the vehicle, you will suffer.
Failing to Check … Again
A quick glance in the mirrors reveals that all is clear, so you wait for the car to pass and then you start your turn or you move to pass the car ahead of you. It’s a bad move and dangerous, too. Always check the mirrors a second time because you never know what those behind you might decide to do.
You’ve driven these same roads 100 times or more. You could make every turn blind-folded, yet becoming too comfortable with your surroundings is dangerous. The mind tends to wander in these situations and biker bad habits can form. The experts suggest switching up your routes or driving different lines when possible to keep your mind fresh and your driving skills in check.