Springtime means more motorcycles, and sadly more motorcycles can also mean more motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents are serious business, and all too common, but can be avoided with the following safety tips…
Follow with plenty of room to spare. Allow for extra space between you and a motorcycle. Motorcycles are capable of stopping much faster than a car or other heavier vehicles. If you follow too closely, you may be caught by surprise when the motorcycle suddenly slows or stops in traffic. Allow at least twice as much space between you and the motorcycle as you normally would between another car or truck.
Signal in time so that a motorcyclist may react to your vehicle. Use your turn signal when merging into traffic or making lane changes. Tap your brakes to let a motorcyclist who is behind you know that you plan to stop soon or are slowing down.
Observe an ongoing turn signal on a motorcycle as a forgotten turn signal. Do not depend on the motorcycle turning. Often, a motorcycle’s turn signals do not feature an automatic shut-off after the motorcycle has turned, unlike cars or trucks. It is common for motorcycle riders to forget their turn signals are on. Exercise caution around a motorcycle with a continually flashing turn signal.
Stay aware when approaching intersections or preparing to make a left turn. Motorcycles provide a rather small profile, especially from behind and can be lost in the kaleidoscope of traffic color. Once stopped many motorcycle riders release their brakes, thus turning off their brake lights and this can make them even harder from some to see from behind. Just tapping the much lighter motorcycle from behind with a car bumper can crush a bike or launch the occupant, neither or which ever end well for the rider.
Realize road conditions affect motorcyclists more than drivers of other vehicles. Motorcycle drivers often have to react suddenly to potholes, sand/gravel in an intersection, tire debris or uneven surfaces in the roadway, especially with stretches of construction work. Slick, rainy roads also offer more of a hazard to motorcyclists than to other drivers. Try to anticipate a motorcycle’s actions on roads with hazards.