There has been a notable increase in the number of motorcycles on the road in recent years, partly caused by increasing gas prices. Many drivers have traded in their cars for super-efficient motorcycles in an effort to decrease their fuel consumption. This movement has led to a huge number of inexperienced motorcycle riders, many of whom become involved in accidents with cars. Drivers must be aware that motorcycles can be encountered on all types of roadway.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,956 motorcyclists were killed in 2015. While some of these accidents were single vehicle accidents, many involved automobiles. As drivers of cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs, we have the responsibility not only to share the road, but also to take proactive measure to increase the safety of motorcycle riders who we encounter on our way.
Many accidents involving both motorcycles and automobiles are the fault of the automobile driver. In addition to being constantly aware that a motorcyclist may be in close proximity to your vehicle, here are ten things that you can do to help keep motorcyclists and yourself safe:
10 Things Every Driver Should Know About Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
1 – Always check your blind spots!
Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and can be even more difficult to spot while merging or changing lanes. The shape of motorcycle and rider is also more likely to blend into the images you see in your rear-view and side-view mirrors than that of a large automobile.
2 – Be extra cautious when passing.
Always make sure you are several car lengths ahead of the motorcycle before returning to your lane.
3 – Remember that motorcycles react more quickly than cars.
Make sure that you maintain an adequate following distance behind motorcycles. Rear-ending a motorcycle can be fatal to the rider, particularly if you drive a large, heavy vehicle.
4 – Weather warning
Weather warning: bad weather has more drastic affects on motorcycle riders than it does on automobile drivers. Rain and winter weather in particular can make it almost impossible for motorcyclist to continue to travel.
5 – Night-riding can be treacherous for motorcyclists.
Help riders stay safe after dark by increasing your following distance, ensuring that your high-beams are turned off when you notice an approaching motorcycle, and refraining from passing.
6 – Stay in your lane.
Motorcycles are legally entitled to their own lane of traffic. In no situation are you allowed to drive your automobile in the same lane and in close proximity to a motorcycle.
7 – Inform motorcyclists of your intention to turn.
Initiate your turn signal sooner than you normally would when you know there is a motorcycle driving behind you. Not only is this courteous, it helps to reduce pile-ups involving motorcycles.
8 – Intersections are danger zones.
Many vehicle accidents that involve both automobiles and motorcycles occur at intersections, particularly blind intersections.
9 – Watch for turning motorcycles.
If you notice that a motorcycle is driving with an activated turn signal for a abnormal distance, increase your following distance so that you have time to react whenever the rider does decide to turn.
10 – Take a second look at left-turns.
Before you cross a lane or lanes of traffic to turn left, take a second look for approaching motorcycles.
If you are dealing with a motorcycle accident, contact the experienced lawyers at Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck today at: 414-223-4444. Get motorcycle accident help today!
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