According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of motorcyclists are killed on U.S. highways every year – an average of more than 12 per day. Many more – approximately 80,000 – are injured. Whether you are the driver of a 4-wheeled vehicle, or you ride a motorcycle, scooter, moped, or trike, these numbers are cause for alarm. Though motorcycles are vehicles in the same way that a car or truck is, they are often overlooked or missed by motorists. Continue reading to find out how you can protect riders and yourself by sharing the road with motorcycles.
Use Caution when Changing Lanes
Lane changes can cause precarious situations for people who ride motorcycles. Since smaller vehicles are more difficult to notice, you might not see a motorcycle or moped in your mirrors. If a rider enters into your ‘blind spot’ and you proceed to change lanes, the results could be deadly. It is always good practice to check your mirrors and turn on your turning signal even if you think no one is there. Then, change lanes slowly, giving ample time for riders to respond to your vehicle.
Don’t Misjudge Speed and Distance
The size of a motorcycle makes it more difficult for other motorists to gauge its speed or anticipate the rider’s actions. Take a little extra time at intersections to ensure you have adequate time to cross safely. When in doubt, always assume that the motorcycle is much closer or traveling much faster than it appears.
Don’t Follow Too Closely
Tailgating is never a good idea, and it is especially dangerous if you are driving too closely to a motorcycle. Years of driving make it easy to anticipate the actions of drivers in traditional vehicles. Motorcycle riders, however, are faced with different challenges when riding the same roads that you do. A pothole or a patch of loose gravel, for example, could lead the rider to rapidly slow down to avoid the hazard. If you are following too closely, you might not have enough time to react to the rider’s actions. Always leave extra space between you and riders – preferably a minimum of three to four seconds.
Look out for Motorcycles Year-Round
As summer comes to an end here in Clear Lake, we all know that cold weather is just around the corner. It’s easy to let your guard down when it seems like the weather is too cold for people to be riding motorcycles. While it’s true that there are far more motorcycles on the road during the warmer months, it is possible to come across riders anytime of the year. Always be vigilant in looking out for 2 and 3-wheeled vehicles – even during the winter.
The NHTSA reports that motorcycle fatalities and injuries continue to increase year over year despite declines in overall auto-related deaths. Since the majority of motorcycle crashes are the fault of another driver, education and awareness are the only ways of reversing this dangerous trend. At Lillie-Couch Insurance, we want our Clear Lake customers to understand the importance of road-sharing and the ways motorists can look out for riders when driving. We also want to ensure our riders and drivers are protected in the event they are unexpectedly involved in an accident. Contact our office to find out how we can help you find coverage that fits your needs, whether you drive on 2 wheels or 4. Call us today to request a Clear Lake car insurance quote. We look forward to serving you soon.