Riding a motorcycle is exhilarating yet because of the increased likelihood of crashing, makes for a very risky situation. According to the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), deaths from motorcycle accidents are 27 times higher than fatalities from car accidents which means safety is key when sharing the roads with motorcycles. During warmer temperatures (spring and summer), there are more riders on the road, but regardless of the time of year it is important to keep your eyes open. Find out ways to safely share the road with motorcycles.
Ways You Can Share the Road
When an accident involving a motorcycle happens, it is typically way more disastrous than one involving vehicles. Consider the vulnerability for a second…the rider has zero protection around him/her except for a helmet or any other protective gear, so if there is a collision, it won’t be minor. Because the effects of a crash may result in serious injury or even death, it is essential to follow the guidelines listed below, but not limited to:
Keep a Lookout- Because motorcycles are smaller than vehicles, it is easy to miss them on the road. In fact, a bike can easily be hidden in your blind spot so always check carefully before you change lanes, use your turn signals, and be on high alert for motorcycles. Also, because of their smaller size, it can be hard to pinpoint how far away or the speed of it so pay close attention when pulling into traffic.
Never Tailgate- This guideline applies to all drivers on the road, but especially when you are trailing behind a bike. Giving motorcyclists plenty of space can help to enforce safety on the road. Keep in mind that when a rider is slowing down, he/she may downshift without the use of brakes; therefore, you may not see any brake lights. The rule of thumb is to stay at least 3 seconds behind any bike/cars in an effort to safely keep your distance and share the road with motorcycles.
Watch for Oncoming Bikes- If you see a motorcycle approaching you at an intersection, always pay close attention. Many accidents are known to happen when a driver fails to exercise caution and turns left into the oncoming path of a biker.
Be a Considerate Driver- When you get behind the wheel of a car, be considerate of all drivers and motorcyclists. Being aware of your surroundings and maintaining safe distances will help to share the road with motorcycles in a safe fashion. Consider the dangerous nature of a potential motorcycle accident and think about your family, friends, and loved ones who ride bikes.
Stay in Your Own Lane- Many riders may swerve a bit in their lane of travel due to potholes, debris, or oil on the road, but that doesn’t mean you can move over into their lane. Remain in your own lane, allow ample spacing, and remain on the alert so that you can safely share the road with them.
Be Responsible and Keep Your Eyes Open
Motorcyclists are required to follow the rules and regulations of the roadway and take appropriate action to wear necessary safety gear; however, drivers (both auto and truck) should also practice every effort to keep them safe as well. Together, auto drivers and motorcyclists can safely share the road.
To learn more about protecting yourself and your bike, contact us at Burkett & Associates Insurance Agency. We understand your love of the wind in your hair, the feeling of freedom that a motorcycle allows, and cruising the open road and can assist you with motorcycle coverage options that will fit all your Alabama motorcycle needs. Contact us TODAY at 256-704-7400.