The statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated that quantified the number of deaths caused by motorcycles per mile of driving to be more than 25 times higher than the fatality rate for people using cars. This is very sad. The key reason attributed to such a fact is because motorcycles are smaller and can easily be ignored by drivers. When a motor cycle crashes, there is a higher likelihood of injuries or even death. Moreover, the lack of protective frame in motorcycle unlike in vehicles, increase more chances of getting injuries. Drivers play an important role in making sure that motorcyclists are safe on the road. They can easily avoid the scary emotional or financial aftermath of causing a crash by following very simple steps outlined in this article.
Give Them Space
Motorbikes need space so as to avoid collision – give them that! These bikes need to take a full lane for themselves so as to manoeuvre safely, they do not need to take the right like bicycles. These bikes give the rider the ability to navigate in between very tight spaces at a higher speed. Motorbikes should pass within lanes and not in between vehicles – this is known as lane splitting and it is illegal in some states and it is unsafe. Drivers should give motorcyclists the same courtesy they give other drivers; stay out of reach, avoid blind spots and give them room. Do not tailgate motorcycles since they can brake much faster than motor vehicles. Thus, it is good to give them adequate space and safe following distance. Motorcycles can also reducing their speed simply by downshifting or relaxing the throttle, therefore, do not expect to see brake lights all the time.
Look Twice for Motorcycles
Motorcycles can be hard to see at times. Majority of drivers who crash into bikes it is because they failed to spot them. Obviously, motorbikes are smaller than vehicles; this feature makes it hard to spot them from a distance, and as such, drivers need to develop the habit of always looking after them. Try and look for a motorbike each time you turn into blind spot or change lanes. At night, high level of vigilance should be included since bikes don’t have so much headlights or taillights – be more careful. Do not let motorbikes get lost into your blind spot.
Do not be a bully. Offer them the right of way when need be, and do not cut them off. This is a general advice that is worth noting. It is a bit difficult to estimate the speed of motorbikes accurately. Play safe and be patient with them as they try to dodge potholes or loosen gravel causing them to slow down. Drive with a lot of consideration. If you drive a bigger vehicle or a SUV, do not be aggressive when a motorcycle is on your way. Do not prompt them to pull an unsafe stunt by stressing them or driving dangerously closer to them. Everyone has the right to be on the road.
Be Courteous and Double Check Your Blind Spots
Due to their higher speed and small size, motorbikes tend to quickly come out and in of your blind spots. Keep checking and taking second look always. Most of the accidents between vehicles and motorbike occur in intersections. Before making a left turn, scan for any signs of motorcycles – if everything looks okay, take your left turn. Keep your focus on driving and pay attention to the outside environment. Keep distractions inside your car away.
The Importance of Turning Your Signals
The turn signals in motorbikes are usually manual; and at times the rider might forget to turn them off. Therefore, exercise caution. Turn on your signal when you approach a motorcycle, then allow an extra lane-changing space. Riders tend to drive defensively; watching the driver and anticipating their next move. Always signal your intentions.
The Weather Factor
Watch for unfavourable weather condition. It can severely damage the driving activity. For motorcycles, it is even worse due to the rains, slippery road conditions, and fog. These factors can cause drastic changes in the way motorcycles are handled. Make sure your vision is not compromised as well. Always give the motorbikes the room for necessary adjustments and corrective measures.
Please put your smart phones, make-up and on-the-go meals away. We have a bird’s eye view of what goes on in cars and it’s scary.
- Don’t use distractors like phones, drinks or take away meals;
- Stay in your lane;
- Do not throw trash, plastics, or cigarette butts out the window;
- Confirm your intent by turning signals on or by activating them;
- Respect their space;
- Do not tailgate; and
- Double check your mirrors and look out for blind spots.