Summertime is the season of motorcyclists thanks to its warmer temperatures allowing them to travel the open road with ease. With the increase of these vehicles on the rise this time of year, here are ten tips that will help all new drivers have motorcycle awareness.
1. Your Car is a Weapon
The sheer number of automobile accidents each year are a terrifying statistic, but those numbers are more frightening when motorcycles become involved. More than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve a car or truck with the motorist usually at fault according to Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp.
2. Keep an Eye Out
With more cars on the road than bikes, drivers tend to keep an eye out for other larger vehicles when driving. This causes them to unintentionally miss motorcyclists, not seeing them as easily as they would a truck or sedan. It’s vital that you keep an eye out for motorcycles as well while on the road to avoid a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
3. Double-Check Your Mirrors
Smaller in size, motorcycles often appear further away than they really are. It is also more difficult to judge the speed of a cyclist as opposed to other vehicles. For these reasons, you should always double-check your mirrors before changing lanes.
4. Safe Distances
Motorcycles slow down by downshifting or laying off the throttle, which means their brake lights rarely need activated at a stop sign or light. Always allow yourself an additional four seconds of space between you and a cyclist to avoid rear ending them according to Jason D. Mills & Associates.
5. Understanding Lane Changes
You have probably seen a cyclist adjusting their position within a lane. While some suggest they are showing off, motorcyclists actually do this to get a better line of sight and allow other vehicles to more easily see them. Make sure to wait until they do change lanes before moving closer to their position.
6. Double-Check Their Signals
Motorcycles, unlike cars, do not automatically shut off their turn signals. Beginner and even seasoned cyclists may forget to turn theirs off after changing lanes. When you see a bike with a turn signal on, give it a minute to see if they really are turning.
7. They Are Still Drivers
Motorcycles have the ability to stay nimble on the road, easily moving in and around obstacles. However, these individuals are still drivers and might not have the reaction time to move out of the way. If you’ve lost control of your vehicle, don’t assume a biker can dodge your car.
8. Stopping Time
Just like with cars, you want to give yourself enough time to stop your vehicle when a motorcycle is in front of you. Road conditions can cause your car to decrease speed at a slower rate anytime.
9. Remember the Person
While many drivers simply see a motorcycle, it is important to remember that there’s a person operating it. They likely have a family, kids, and a career. This is important to remember for all vehicles on the road.
10. You Can’t Turn Back Time
Keep in mind that causing any form of car accident is something permanent. You can’t undo your actions. So, stay careful out there and share the road. Motorcycle awareness should always be in the forefront of any drivers mind.