If cars are dangerous, motorcycles are even more dangerous. Motorcycles do not have the seat belts, nor do they have metal, glass, and air bags between themselves and another vehicle during an auto accident. One accident can send a motorcyclists flying from the motor cycle onto the graveled road. These accidents can be fatal for the motorcyclist. Due to the decreased safety of the vehicles, it is vital that all motorcycle riders and car drivers engage in safe driving practices while they are sharing the road.
Car Drivers: Be Aware of the Road
The bulk of car-motorcycle accidents are due to car drivers being unaware of a motorcycle until the accident is occurring. As a car driver you should keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Scan the road for oncoming motorcycles. Once they enter your field of vision, you should keep an eye on them. Keep track where they are on the road.
Car Drivers: Eliminate Blind Spots
Due to the fact that there is some overlap in what your rearview mirror and the side mirrors show you, there are usually gaping blind spots to the side of your car. This can be dangerous, especially if you are not in the habit of checking over your shoulder before changing lanes. You can increase your own safety and motorcyclist safety by always checking blind spots or maneuvering the mirror to eliminate blind spots. After the change is made, drive carefully while you become used to the new mirror positions.
Motorcyclist: Maneuver Blind Spots Carefully
Even though drivers can set their mirrors to show their blind spots, motorcyclists should approach every car as if the car driver has blind spots. Pass every car with caution. Do not linger in the blind spots. If a car is being erratic, do not pass to the side of the vehicle until the driver of the car has seen you. Once you have the driver’s attention make the pass.
Motorcyclists: Give Visual Cues
The majority of motorcycles do not have blinkers to broadcast when they are planning to turn or change lanes. When driving near or around cars, motorcyclists should broad cast their plans with visual cues. Use gestures traditionally meant for bicycles to broadcast intentions: arm straight out= left turn and arm turned up= right turn. Motorcyclists can also point to the lane that they plan to merge into in order to broadcast their intention.
Car Drivers: Look For Visual Cues
Motorcyclists giving visual cues won’t do much good if the car drivers do not see them. When driving near motorcyclists, look out for anything that could be considered a visual cue. Aid them in changing lanes by slowing down once the change has been started. This will decrease the amount of time they will be in your blind spot or the amount of time that they will be in the passing lane.
Car Drivers and Motorcyclists: Gradual Changes
Both car drivers and motorcyclists should make gradual changes. Broadcast your intentions for a few seconds before making any changes to your driving. Whether it is a speed change or a lane change, give more time for the motorcyclist or driver to react.
By driving carefully both motorcyclist and car drivers can share the road without any fatal accidents. It is both the motorcyclists and car drivers responsibility to utilize the tips provided above and any other suggested safety tips found on various other motorcycle sites.
TIP FROM T.A.S.C.O.: although many motorcyclists prefer to wear black gear, it is recommended to add some neon stickers to your helmet or wear a high-visibility vest over your jacket in order to be more visible to other drivers. Never ride without a helmet! pb