Motorcycle season is upon us! As the number of bikers on the road rises, so do the risks of collisions. Motorcycles are involved in about 11% of all traffic crashes, and there have been over 80,000 motorcyclists injured annually in recent years. By following the commonsense rules below, motorcyclists and other drivers can share the roads safely.
- Keep a lookout for motorcycles and other vehicles on the road. As basic as this rule seems to be, most crashes are the result of one motorist not seeing the other in enough time to stop. By keeping your eyes on the road and looking for motorcycles and other vehicles, especially when approaching intersections, your odds of being in a wreck are greatly reduced.
- Use sunglasses and visors. Keeping your eyes on the road does little good if the sun obstructs your vision. When the sun is out, be sure to wear sunglasses if you are able, and have your vehicle’s visors adjusted appropriately. This will enable you to see motorcycles on the road.
- Stay off the phone. By now, all responsible drivers are aware of the dangers of holding a cell phone and talking on it while driving. Studies have also shown, however, that cell phones cause a significant distraction to drivers even when they are on speaker phone or communicating through their vehicle’s hands-free technology. The best way to avoid collisions is to refrain from using the phone entirely while behind the wheel.
- Slow down. Excessive speed is a leading cause of wrecks between motorcycles and other vehicles. Always be sure to obey posted speed limits, and to reduce your speed below those limits during inclement weather and other hazardous driving conditions.
- Be patient. Few things are more frustrating for drivers than seeing others engage in hazardous and irresponsible driving. While your first reaction to another driver that cuts you off or narrowly avoids hitting you might be to confront them in anger, the best thing you can do is avoid making a dangerous situation worse. Always do all you can to avoid a crash. If you have concerns about a driver that is posing a risk to others on the road, pull over when safe to do so and contact the police.
While motorcyclists are at risk for the most serious injuries in crashes, drivers of other vehicles can also be injured when they collide with a motorcycle. By being diligent about safety and following all the rules of the road, all drivers can increase their chances of avoiding collisions.
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