Motorcycle crashes remain one of the most prevalent causes of injury and death on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a collision than those in a motor vehicle. Following safety guidelines can significantly decrease your risk of an accident. A combination of abiding by basic driving rules, wearing proper attire and refraining from drinking and riding will prevent injury or a collision. When drivers and motorcycle riders work together to maintain awareness and safety, everyone can enjoy the road.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Don’t follow motorcyclists too closely and allow sufficient braking cushion between your vehicle and the motorcycle in front of you to give your vehicle enough room to come to a complete stop without a collision. Remember, a motorcyclist’s brake lights might not always be engaged when a motorcycle decelerates.
- Slow down, assess your surroundings, and don’t rush when crossing intersections, entering the roadway from a parking lot or driveway, or turning left. Always give yourself enough time to thoroughly check for motorcyclists.
- When turning left, ensure there is enough time and space for the motorcyclist to clear the roadway before you initiate the left turn.
- Always check your blind spot twice before changing lanes, it could save the life of a motorcycle rider.
Safety Reminders for Motorcyclists
• If you are a motorcycle owner, you should never hit the road without wearing a helmet. Helmets save motorcycle riders’ lives. Non-helmeted motorcycle riders are twice as likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries from crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the event of an accident, motorcycle helmets absorb the impact of a crash on the brain and keep your head safe.
• Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection. Wear long pants and long sleeves, even in the summertime. Leather or armored clothing is best. Wear bright colors or reflective materials to be easily visible on the road. Protect your feet and ankles by wearing closed-toed, over-the-ankle shoes or boots.
• Do not drink and ride. According to the NHTSA, twenty-five percent of motorcycle riders who died in were alcohol-impaired.
• Be aware of road conditions, climate and traffic patterns. Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when riding over slippery surfaces or gravel. Avoid tailgating and give yourself enough space to safely navigate around dangers.