In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tracked more than 4,956 motorcycle deaths, many of which involved other vehicles. Every day, you share the road with multiple motorcyclists, and as fuel prices have increased in recent years, many new drivers are adopting motorcycles as their primary means of transportation.
Therefore, whether you drive a car, SUV, truck or van, you have to raise your awareness of these smaller vehicles so you can avoid a motor vehicle accident with a motorcyclist. These are a few motorcycle awareness tips.
Increase your sensory awareness
Due to their size, motorcycles are difficult to see in your mirrors. Therefore, check all your blind spots before changing lanes or merging into traffic. Keep your ears open for the sound of approaching motorcycles. Also, follow intersection safety protocols, especially when you approach blind intersections. Ask your passengers to look for these riders.
Give adequate warning
Although you should always use turn signals, when you encounter motorcyclists, use them early. Riders need to know what you are doing so they can make adjustments. However, understand that you may not see a rider’s turn signals.
Expand your following distance
Passing a motorcyclist can be dangerous because the wind from your vehicle can push them off the road. Therefore, pull out early, pass slowly and put extra car lengths between you and the motorcycle before moving back into the lane.
Also, due to their reduced reaction time, keep more distance between you and motorcyclists. This is especially important when driving in bad weather and during the evening and night. Give them adequate space, and never try to “share” a lane.
To avoid a motor vehicle accident with a motorcycle, pay closer attention to your driving and surroundings and make adjustments to accommodate for their size, maneuverability and vulnerability.