Accidents involving motorcycles and other motor vehicles account for nearly 50% of all motorcyclist fatalities in the United States. From a statistical perspective, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than other motorists!
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. would like to remind drivers that sharing the road with motorcycles is more than a safety recommendation: it’s the law!
Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any other motor vehicle operator on our roads.
IMPROVE YOUR AWARENESS OF MOTORCYCLES
- Always practice extra caution when turning left. In fatal crashes involving a motorcycle and another passenger vehicle, nearly 45% of these crashes involved the passenger vehicle turning left into a motorcyclist who was riding straight or passing. Making a left turn is exceedingly more dangerous than making a right turn—take a few extra moments to ensure the crossing path is clear.
- Slow your decision-making process down at intersections. If you’re turning at an intersection and your view of oncoming traffic is partially obstructed, wait until you can see around the obstruction, sufficiently scan for all roadway users (pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists alike), and proceed with caution.
- One’s reaction time and ability to assess and respond to a potential collision is significantly hindered if there are large differences in speed among vehicles in traffic. When approaching a congested roadway, being diligent in modifying your speed to match that of the cars in traffic can be a lifesaver, particularly for motorcyclists.
- Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Though it may seem as if there is enough room in a single lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, looks can be deceiving. Share the road, but not the lane! A motorcyclist needs room to maneuver safely.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle—it may not be self-canceling and the motorcyclist may not realize it didn’t turn off. Wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed.
- Allow more follow distance—three or four seconds—when following a motorcycle; this gives the motorcycle rider more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Motorcycle riders may suddenly need to change speed or adjust their lane position to avoid hazards such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.
Motorcycle riding is a popular form of recreation and transportation for thousands of people in our state. To help improve your awareness of motorcycles, please take a few moments to review these safety suggestions and share them with friends and family!