It seems like every spring, people forget all about proper motorcycle safety tips. After the cold months, with little to no motorcycle traffic on our roadways, we tend to get complacent and forget about motorcyclists.
Driving a big rig, I see a lot of accidents on the roadways. Nothing is worse than coming up onto an accident scene and seeing a bike laying on the ground. That never turns out well.
The following motorcycle safety tips are more geared towards those of us with more than 2-wheels!
How to Drive Around Motorcycles
Those of us who have never ridden a bike can be confused about the behavior of riders. Rather than explain every aspect of their driving behavior, it’s best to simply follow the “big tips.”
When making left turns, look for traffic… Then look AGAIN for bikers!
I put the #1 motorcycle safety tip first. The vast majority of car vs. bike accidents happen in intersections when a car turns right in front of a biker. You can imagine how this turns out for the motorcycle rider. It is imperative, before making a left turn, to be sure traffic is clear. THEN look again specifically for motorcycles! Vehicles turning in front of motorcycles is the number one cause of fatal accidents for motorcycle riders. Please, look twice and save a life!
Let them swerve
You’ll notice that motorcycle riders often weave within their lane from side to side. They have good reasons to do this.
For those of us in cars and trucks, running over a pothole means we get jarred and at the very worst, screw up the alignment on our vehicle.
For a biker, though, missing a pothole could mean the difference between life and death! And that’s just the start! Factor in roadkill, oil spots, and other types of road debris. Some roads can be an obstacle course for them. Many bikers like to change positions in their lane to stay out of people’s blind spots too.
The best thing to do is leave them as much space as possible. There are many things bikers need to swerve for. So don’t crowd them. Give them as much room as possible. If you want to pass them, do it in a hurry and get out of their way.
When riding behind a motorcycle, increase your following distance. Leave an extra buffer zone. Why? For one, motorcycles have a much quicker stopping distance than cars. You can’t stop as quickly as they can.
If you rear-end another car, the driver of that car is well protected. Motorcycle riders are completely exposed.
Even a minor collision can have very serious effects. So practice all of your defensive driving techniques twofold around bikers.
Make a conscious note
During unusually warm weather during the winter months, and all days of the spring, summer, and fall, make a mental note that bikers are out there. Just as we remind ourselves to watch for kids in neighborhoods, we should remind ourselves of bikers.
Share the road. Bikers can only do so much to protect themselves. Let’s help them out by specifically looking out for them. The result is you being a safer driver all around.
If you’re looking specifically for small motorcycles, you’re sure to see everything else!
Let them enjoy their freedom. Let them enjoy the ride. Let’s keep our riders safe. They are our friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers. Follow these motorcycle safety tips, share the road, and please, drive safely!
Major Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Emphasizing the danger related to driving a motorcycle increases awareness of the importance of keeping motorcycles safe on the road.
So here are some important notes on the major causes of motorcycle accidents for you to ponder.
Coming across a car making a left-hand turn is probably one of the worst situations for a motorcycle. These types of motorcycle collisions contribute to almost 42% of all accidents that involve a motorcycle and another vehicle.
What happens here is that the turning car hits the motorcycle while it is going straight through an intersection. This usually is the case when the motorcycle tries to pass the car or overtakes it. Most of the time, the car making the left-hand turn will be found guilty here, so be extra careful when turning left!
Meanwhile, head-on collisions between a motorcycle and another vehicle comprise about 56% of deaths that are related to motorcycle accidents. Oftentimes, this type of crash is more fatal for the person riding the motorcycle, considering its size. The motorcycle driver can be crushed or thrown through the air, so the driver will more likely face severe injury or even die immediately.
Last but not the least, motorcycle accidents happen because of the failure of other motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles on the road. With the motorcycle’s small size, it’s hard for even the most attentive driver to see a motorcycle coming.
This is possibly the reason why intersections are extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. So all the more that you should pay attention when you’re at it because even the safest and most skilled motorcyclist will not be able to avoid an accident if the other driver on the road doesn’t see them.
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