Although an exciting activity, riding a motorcycle is a dangerous undertaking. Although motorcyclists drive less than one percent of all of the miles clocked each year, they are involved in a much higher percentage of crashes. According to highway safety stats, motorcycle collisions make up 15% of all fatal crashes. Many of these collisions also involve drivers of trucks and car. A great number could be prevented just by following these safety tips:
#1 Always Be on Alert
Regardless of what you’re driving (bike, car, truck, etc.) you should always be on the alert for motorcyclists. Because of its compact size, it is easy to overlook a motorcycle. Many drivers fail to see a motorcyclist or misjudge their speed and then make the mistake of pulling out. Take a few extra minutes to look for motorcycles and other small vehicles (scooters, etc.) before making a turn.
If you ride a motorcycle yourself, always be on the look for cars that might be turning in front of you. In places where this is most likely to happen, like intersections, you must be even more cautious. The same is true when you’re riding near houses (driveways) or in a busy place like a parking lot.
#2 Use Turn Signals Every Single Time
Lots of motorcycle collisions will be avoided if the rider is following tip one. However, if drivers are not using their turn signals, it makes it a lot harder for the operator of a motorcycle to anticipate a collision. It might seem like such a simple thing, but it can literally be the difference between life and death.
Think of this scenario. You’re turning left at a green light but don’t use your turn signal. You don’t see the motorcyclists also driving through a green light in the opposite lane. He has the right of way; you are supposed to yield. If you would have used your turn signal, the other driver could have anticipated your turn and slowed down. Because you did not, you have now caused one of the many motorcycle collisions that happen in the U.S. each year.
#3 Be Extra Careful at Intersections
You also need to be cautious at stop and go intersections. Take an extra second to look and make sure no motorcycles are in your blind spot. Is anyone making a left-hand turn? Look left, right, and then left again. Although this might seem like a hassle when you are in a hurry, it might just help you avoid a motorcycle collision and save a life.
#4 Don’t Follow too Closely
Motorcycles have a much shorter stopping distance than your car does. So, you should make sure not to follow too closely. As a general rule of thumb, you should be at least four car lengths behind a motorcycle. This will give you enough room (and time) to stop should an accident occur in front of you. You may not ever cause a motorcycle collision, but you could easily be involved in one if you don’t have enough time to hit your breaks.
Those who ride motorcycles should work to avoid being hit from behind. This is especially true since a fender bender can easily kill someone on a bike. You can do this by staying a little bit left or right of center when at a red light. Also, if someone is following too closely, let them pass or pull over. Pride and its frequent partner, road rage, cause way too many motorcycle collisions.
We hope you are never involved in a vehicle crash. But if you are, call Orlando Auto Body at 480-418-4737 for an estimate and advice on repairs.