It's Motorcycle Season, Watch Out!

It’s motorcycle season again! Here are some tips to make sure you drive in a way that keeps everyone safe as the weather warms up.

Vehicle crashes involving motorcycles more often result in severe injuries or even fatalities. This often leads to the idea that motorcycle riders are careless and tend to speed. However, research shows that drivers of passenger cars are most often to blame for accidents involving motorcycles.

In most cases, accidents don’t occur due to high speed or recklessness of either party involved, but in fact occur because drivers fail to detect motorcycle riders in traffic.

But, just like we learned other things that we use in traffic every day, we can train our eyes and minds to recognize motorcyclists better, and prevent potentially fatal crashes. Here are a few tips for driving around motorcycles:

1. Remember Motorcycles are Around

Riders are usually on the roads from spring onwards, so make sure you get behind the wheel this spring with the notion that motorcycles are on the roads now. We often drive through streets with poor visibility around corners and bends. Pay special attention when in these situations, look twice when merging, and lower your speed in tighter bends.

2. Take Extra Care in Left Turns

When turning left at an intersection, you cross the opposite direction lane. We’re trained to look for traffic from the other side, and even have a glance at the left rearview mirror, however, make sure you look twice and pay special attention to riders as they are less visible than other vehicles. Most accidents involving cars and motorcycles happen in this situation, and often neither party is speeding or changing direction suddenly. Drivers simply fail to see motorcyclists, so make sure you give an extra glance at every opportunity.

3. Do Not Drive Alongside Motorcycles

Motorcycles are vehicles in their own right and although they are narrower than cars, you should not ride next to one in the same lane, especially when overtaking. Aside from increasing anxiety, this can also be very dangerous, since swerving to avoid potholes, oil spills or gravel can be the difference between life and death for a motorcyclist. If there is a car next to the motorcycle, swerving is impossible.

4. No Tailgating

This one goes without saying in general traffic, but it is especially important for motorcycles. Because they are lighter than cars, their stopping distances are usually shorter. Moreover, their braking foot or hand has no other task, so their reaction times are often shortened also. Leave some extra room when driving behind a motorcycle since rear-ending due to tailgating usually causes some bumper damage, or worse, Rear-ending a motorcycle can be fatal. Of course, if a rider in front of you falls without any fault of your own, you could run him over if you don’t have enough time to stop. Give yourself that valuable time.

We at Sunridge Nissan wish you safe driving this spring. Whether you’re driving a motorcycle or not, it’s important we all drive with respect and care.
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