Each year, thousands of riders are killed in a motorcycle crash with automobiles. If a rider is involved in a motorcycle crash with another vehicle, their fatality rate dramatically increases. In 2011, 4,612 motorcyclists were killed in a crash involving another vehicle. This is an increase of 2% from reported fatalities in 2010.
It is important to realize not only that motorcycles share the roads with automobiles, but that there are additional risks faced by the riders than a motorist would face. We share some tips on how to avoid a motorcycle crash while behind the wheel.
5 Ways to Avoid a Motorcycle Crash
Warmer weather brings out more drivers – including car and motorcycle drivers. If you keep these 5 rules in mind while on the roads this Spring and Summer, you will decrease the chance of being involved in a motorcycle crash.
Keep the 4-Second Rule In Mind
As a general rule, you should allow 4 seconds of travel time in between you and a motorcycle while following. Motorcycles often do not use their brakes to slow down. Usually, a rider will downshift to slow themselves, which results in no brake lights being illuminated. Make sure you remember this while following a rider to avoid a motorcycle crash.
Mother Nature is Not Kind to Motorcycles
Motorcycles do not have the same safety features as automobiles. If you encounter rain, sleet or snow while sharing the road with a motorcycle, you should increase your following distance by more than the 4-second rule. If you allow extra space for motorcycles in inclement weather, you will likely avoid a motorcycle crash. In addition to bad weather, keep in mind that road debris is potentially dangerous to a motorcycle rider. If you see gravel, leaves, or any other debris on the roadway and are following a motorcycle, increase your following distance even more.
Left Turns Can Cause a Motorcycle Crash
40% of the fatalities reported in 2011 were due to an automobile making a left turn in front of a motorcycle. Motorcycles only have one headlight, which can be hard for automobile drivers to recognize as a vehicle. When your brain is trained to see two headlights, it can be difficult to determine a motorcycle is approaching, as you may ignore the single headlight since you do not normally encounter a vehicle like this. Look twice before making a left-hand turn. It can make the difference between life and death in a potential motorcycle crash.
Watch the Blind Spots
Many motorcycle crash reports involve a car hitting a motorcycle without seeing them. You should always anticipate there is a motorcyclist in your blind spot before changing lanes. This is the best way to avoid an accident.
Many motorcycle riders are respectful, law abiding drivers. Keep in mind the manner in which they may be driving could be a result of trying to navigate the road safely. Do not tailgate a motorcycle, try to abstain from using your horn and remember everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Allowing a motorcycle to have the right of way is a great way to avoid a motorcycle crash, as well as the headache and hassle of being involved in an accident.