Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
By: Good2GoPublished: July 20, 2016
Summer is here, so you might be seeing more motorcycles on the road than other times of the year. While riding might make riders look cool and tough, the truth is there are many risks motorcyclists take when they hit the road. While it’s their responsibility to drive safely and abide by all the same traffic laws, it’s your responsibility to proactively share the road to make roads safer for motorcycles and cars alike.
In 2013, there were 4,668 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes and another 88,000 estimated injured. With a number so staggeringly high, it’s important to take several safety precautions to prevent accidents. Here are a few ways we can help reduce fatalities and keep the nation’s highways a safe place for motorcyclists:
Always check your blind spots
It’s always important to check your side- and rear-view mirrors before steering your vehicle in another direction. Considering motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles, it’s easy for drivers to overlook their presence.
Consider weather conditions
When the weather turns from pleasant to dreadful, keep your fellow motorcyclists in mind. Motorcycle riding is especially dangerous in inclement weather. Not only is it more difficult for all drivers to navigate the roads, it can often make it more difficult to see a motorcyclist. When road conditions are bad, keep aware, adjust your speed, and take extra precaution.
Use your blinker
While you should always use your blinker to signal a turn or a lane change, it is especially crucial to utilize blinkers in the presence of a motorcycle. With advance notice, motorcyclists can anticipate your movement and adjust their own position to avoid a collision.
Look twice before turning left
As previously mentioned, motorcycles are much smaller than most other vehicles on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 40% of motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle were caused by the other vehicle turning in front of a motorcyclist. This can be avoided by using blinkers, checking blind spots, and keeping a keen eye out for motorcyclists who are sharing the road with you.
Allow for additional following distance
The general rule for maintaining a safe following distance is to stay at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. This is easily measured by counting the number of seconds it takes for the car ahead to pass a stationary object (i.e.; a billboard or road sign). After that car passes the chosen point, it should take no less than two seconds for your own car to pass that same object. When sharing the road with a motorcycle, you should increase that time to at least four seconds. Increasing your following distance can give both you and the motorcyclist additional time to react to any movements or sudden changes.
A general rule of thumb all drivers is to be considerate when sharing the road. Always practice defensive driving, be patient, and remember that everyone makes mistakes. Driving can be a pleasant experience if you keep your temper under control.
Good2Go Auto Insurance encourages all drivers to practice safe driving skills, but we understand that accidents can happen. That’s why we offer affordable coverage to keep you on the road legal for less. Click here to get a quote in less than a minute, and sometimes with as little as $20 down.