Motorcycle riders are some of the most cautious drivers on Arizona’s roads. Half of the motorcycle accidents recorded every year did not result from motorcycle violations. Still, it is important to understand these unlawful behaviors. Knowing beforehand can help riders avoid risky situations on the road.
Speeding is among the leading motorcycle violations in Arizona. It accounts for more than twenty percent of crashes, with a high injury rate. In fact, one in every four speeding-related crashes leads to fatalities. That is how dangerous it is to exceed a lawful speed while operating a motorcycle.
When a rider speeds too fast in any road condition, he not only puts his life at risk but the safety of others as well. The state set various limits for reasonable and prudent speed on the following roadways:
- Fifteen miles per hour approaching a school crossing.
- Twenty-five miles per hour in a business or residential district.
- Sixty-five miles per hour in other locations.
These potential road hazards also require driving below the speed limit:
- Approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad crossing.
- Approaching and going around a curve.
- Approaching a hillcrest.
- Traveling on a narrow or winding roadway.
- A special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
Riding a motorcycle at a reasonable speed is a legal requirement in Arizona. It is the duty of all persons to exercise reasonable care for the protection of others. In addition, racing on highways is prohibited. Unless it is a properly controlled and authorized event, competitive acceleration equates to a misdemeanor.
Did you sustain injuries from a motorcycle collision even if you stayed within speed limits? Therefore, you have the right to demand compensation from the liable driver. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you.
Following Too Closely
Also known as tailgating in motorcycle violations, this puts the rider in a dangerous situation. All vehicles on the road should maintain a safe traveling distance to avoid a collision. Motorcycle riders, however, are either victims of tailgating or the ones who do it. Following too closely on the vehicle in front lessens the reaction time needed to slow down in a safe position.
Motorcycle riders tend to follow the vehicles in front too closely. Unlike cars with a wide gap ahead because of their hoods, motorcycles do not have that buffer. Hence, riders may sometimes miscalculate and fail to keep a reasonable gap from the rear of the vehicle ahead.
Here are ways to avoid following too closely:
- Follow the three-second rule. This means that the motorcycle rider should keep a distance of three seconds behind the other moving vehicle. To do this, find a tree or a post on the side of the road ahead. Count “one, one thousand”, then “two, two thousand” and so on. If you passed by the reference point before counting “three, three thousand”, then you may already be tailgating.
- Double the three-second rule when traversing wet roads. Hence, maintain a six-second gap from your reference point.
- Take extra caution when driving in very bad weather or poor road conditions, especially at night. At best, triple the three-second rule. A nine-second gap away from the vehicle in front provides you with a safe stopping and braking distance.
Disregarding Traffic Signals
Disregarding traffic signals is also one of the leading motorcycle violations. Ignoring these disrupts the flow of traffic and blocks another vehicle’s right of way. Moreover, it puts the rider at a greater risk than other vehicle drivers on the road.
Below are some of the motorcycle violations that often lead to accidents:
- Failing to yield right-of-way
- Running past a stop sign
- Making an improper turn
- Driving in the opposing lane
- Driving left of the center line
- Passing in a No-Passing Zone
- Crossing median
- Wrong way driving
But, what should riders do when passing through a malfunctioned traffic signal? According to ARS § 28-645, “The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection that has an official traffic control signal that is inoperative shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop before entering the intersection and may proceed with caution only when it is safe to do so. If two or more vehicles approach an intersection from different streets or highways at approximately the same time and the official traffic control signal for the intersection is inoperative, the driver of each vehicle shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop before entering the intersection and the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the driver of the vehicle on the right.”
Unsafe Lane Change
Unsafe changing of lanes also causes motorcycle accidents. This is why lane splitting or lane filtering was included among Arizona motorcycle violations for many years. It is only recently that the state allowed lane changing, with speed regulations.
Motorcycle riders who fail to stay in proper lanes often get caught in rear-end collisions. Some get sideswiped as other drivers do not notice them while changing lanes. Problem is, motorcycle riders suffer the most in a lane change collision. Thus, we recommend lane filtering only in slow-moving traffic or during a full stop.
Motorcycle violations such as acts of aggressive driving, pose an immediate threat to another person or vehicle. The Arizona Department of Transportation may suspend or revoke a motorcycle rider’s license as a penalty for aggressive driving.
Aggressive driving is when the rider is driving too fast for the conditions and disregards traffic rules. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, it gives a false sense of control and power. By not taking into account its consequences, aggressive drivers resort to unsafe practices.
Road rage, meanwhile, is a heightened form of aggressive driving. Like other motorcycle violations, aggressive driving is a traffic offense. But when a driver commits road rage, it becomes a criminal offense.
Here are some ways to prevent aggressive driving and road rage:
- Do not express your frustrations to other motorists. If someone tailgates you or tries to overtake you, let them pass through. It is better to reach your destination safely.
- Try to concentrate on driving and avoid distractions.
- Avoid eye contact and ignore gestures from other drivers.
- Put your pride aside and never challenge the speed and patience of other drivers and riders.
- Identify alternate routes. Riding through a less congested road may help you avoid stressed drivers.
The bias against motorcycle riders may also result in aggressive driving. If you were injured in an accident due to an aggressive driver, it’s time to talk to a lawyer immediately. Our legal team can help you get the rightful compensation for your injuries.