May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and as the temperatures get warmer and we draw closer to summer, more and more motorcycles will be out on the roads. As car and truck drivers begin to share the road with their 2-wheeled friends, there are some things they need to know in order to keep everyone safe.
1. Motorcycles’ Small Size Make it Hard to See Them
Because of the narrow profile of a motorcycle, motorcycles can be easily hidden in blind spots or objects along the road at intersections like hedge rows, bridges, and fences. Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles. Again, due to the smaller size of motorcycles, they may seem further away than they really are. Take time to double check before changing lanes or turning at an intersections.
2. Turn Signals are Not Self-Cancelling
Motorcyclists often change their position in a lame to account for road bumps, potholes, or debris. By no means does this mean they are making room to share a lane with a vehicle or allowing a car to go around. Turn signals on motorcycles are not self-cancelling like in cars or trucks, so their drivers (especially beginners) may forget to turn them off after changing lanes. Be aware of what a motorcycle is doing on the road.
3. Easy Maneuverability
Due to their small size, motorcycles can maneuver traffic a lot easier than 4-wheeled vehicles. However, they can’t always dodge out of the way, so give motorcyclists more space in to avoid an accident.
4. Motorcycles Don’t Stop Short
Just because motorcycles can maneuver traffic with greater ease doesn’t mean theycan stop on a dime – especially if road conditions aren’t ideal. If the roads are bumpy, uneven, or slick, motorcycles will have a harder time slowing down. Allow more distance between yourself and a motorcycle to account for perhaps a longer stopping period. Motorcyclists often slow down by rolling back on the throttle or by downshifting, so you may not see brake lights. Again, another reason to leave more distance between you and them.
5. Accidents are More Fatal
Over half of the fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. This is because of all the things mentioned above (lower visibility, longer stopping distances, etc.) but also partially due to the fact that there are simply more cars and trucks on the road than motorcycles.
Keeping everyone safe this motorcycle season is important, which is why these tips can help save lives. By being aware of your surroundings and watching for others, we can work to avoid the reckless accidents between 4-wheeled cars and trucks and motorcycles.