Most drivers understand that cars are much safer than motorcycles. The small profile of these two-wheeled vehicles makes them difficult to spot in traffic. Even simple mistakes can have devastating consequences for bikers and their families.
West Virginia drivers can help. By following these helpful tips, car drivers can safely share the road with all drivers.
Ten tips to stay aware of motorcycles
Keep motorcyclists safe with these ten tips:
- Check blind spots: Studies show that 67% of motorcycle accidents occur when another driver violates a biker’s right-of-way. Checking blind spots is essential to keeping motorcyclists safe. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars or trucks, so drivers must take their time when checking.
- Pass with care: Passing a motorcycle is legal but challenging. Drivers can take care by waiting for several car lengths before returning to the correct lane. Also, consider the weather, as a strong gust of wind could blow a bike into one’s path.
- Do not tailgate: Motorcyclists have a faster reaction time so they brake much faster than cars. Rear-ending a biker can be fatal, so drivers should follow many car lengths behind.
- Consider the weather: Motorcyclists have a more difficult time navigating weather like rain or snow. In those conditions, take extra care to give the motorcycle space and drive slowly.
- Nighttime is dangerous: Darkness impacts motorcyclists more than car drivers. At night, drivers should refrain from passing motorcycles and increase their following distance.
- Watch your lanes: Under no circumstances should a driver pull into another lane close to a motorcycle or to influence a motorcyclist’s decision.
- Signal: Motorcyclists may have a harder time spotting the turn signals of cars. Drivers should use their turn signals early and often.
- Use extra care at intersections: Intersections are particularly dangerous for all motorists. Most motorcycle accidents and 40% of all traffic crashes occur in intersections.
- Be aware of motorcycle turn signals: As a result of manufacturing, many motorcycle turn signals do not automatically turn off after an intersection. Signaling motorcycles may not be aware of their signal, so do not assume what they will do.
- Double-check left turns: Collisions involving left-turns can be severe, especially with an exposed vehicle like a motorcycle. Double-check all lanes before turning.
Drive carefully and courteously
The best way drivers can keep motorcyclists safe is by remaining aware and double-checking all blind spots. The basics learned in Drivers’ Education courses can serve motorists their entire lives.