I know it hasn’t felt very warm lately, but spring is here and soon warmer weather will be upon us. With the arrival of warm weather motorcycle riders will be hitting the open roads, increasing the risk for serious bodily injuries or even death. With that in mind, all motorists need to take extra care, and make sure that they share the road with motorcycle riders.
On the road, a motorcycle rider is in a much more vulnerable position than a passenger in a typical motor vehicle. In fact, according to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration per mile traveled, motorcyclists are almost 40 times more likely to die in a traffic collision.
All motorists need to take care and follow these quick tips…
· Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
· Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width-never try to share a lane.
· Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
· Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
· Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
· Allow more following distance – three or four seconds – when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
· Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
· Never drive while distracted.
Motorcyclists need to do their part as well, and increase their safety by…
· Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions;
· Wearing brightly colored protective gear and helmet;
· Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it;
· Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;
· Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity;
· Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers; and
· Never driving while impaired.
With a little extra care and attention all motorists can safely share the road.