While motorcycle riders have a responsibility to stay diligent to prevent accidents and fatalities, so do other vehicle drivers.
Here are important points to remember when you’re behind the wheel:
Check Blind Spots
Every car has them, and they’re worse for motorcycles. They’re small and thin, meaning they can easily be missed when you’re doing your usual look. New car models have technology that alerts you to blind spots, but never fully rely on those in lieu of physically looking. Being aware of what blindspots your vehicle has will keep you more alert of your surroundings.
Look Before Turning
Just about 50% of all motorcycle accidents happen when cars are turning left across traffic while a motorcycle is going straight across. If you are about to turn and notice an approaching motorcycle rider, try to make eye contact to ensure you both realize the other is coming.
Follow The Four Second Rule
The general rule from the DMV Drivers Ed books is to always maintain a 4 second distance between you and any other vehicle. This gives you time to react to sudden stops, turns, or other mishaps on the road. When riding behind a motorcycle, be extra sensitive to this rule. If you rear-end another car, your biggest worry will be filing an insurance claim. If you rear-end a motorcycle rider, they just might end up fighting for their lives.
Consider The Weather
Foggy or rainy conditions will limit your sight level and motorcycle riders’. Take extra caution to look before merging/turning during bad weather.
Know The Rules
Two weeks ago, we talked about motorcycle laws and road rules for them. Knowing them even if you’re behind the wheel and not handlebars will prevent many accidents and fatalities.
Use. Your. Blinker.
It’s not technically the law, but please use your blinkers. Giving riders a heads up that you’re merging/turning will prevent so many accidents.
Know Your Depth Perception
When motorcycles are riding in a pack, it can get confusing to see how much distance is between you and the last rider in the pack. Always assume that the rider is closer than it looks.
In a wreck, cars and trucks have a very obvious upper hand in terms of survival rates. Being reckless and selfish on the roadways may not get you hurt ever, but one slip up could kill a motorcycle rider in a heartbeat. You’re surrounded by a strong, metal frame and air bags; riders don’t even have a seat belt. Your car/truck is also going to have many more technological features. Use them, and keep an extra eye out for motorcycle riders.