Spring is here! And if you have a motorcycle you're probably getting it back on the road soon. At IIG we feel it's important to educate everyone, especially those who may not have motorcycle experience, on how to keep all drivers of all kinds of vehicles safe. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind during your travels.
1. Over half of all motorcycle accidents that have fatalities involve another vehicle. Typically the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. This is because, if you look at the numbers, there are many more cars and trucks on the road. Sometimes people don't see a motorcycle or ignore it if they do.
2. It's easy for a motorcycle to be obscured from view or blocked by other objects on the road. Always check your mirrors to look for motorcycles when doing lane changes or turning.
3. Because motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks, they may look farther away than they really are. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or out of a driveway, always predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
4. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, so don't rely on brake lights to show the change in speed. Allowing more distance is always a good choice, some prefer to keep this around 5 seconds.
5. Bikers move around on purpose! Motorcyclists try to be as visible as possible by moving around inside their lane. This also minimizes the effects of debris, passing vehicles, and wind impact on their bikes. Never try to share the same lane in line with a motorcycle, no matter the size of your vehicle.
6. Turn signals on a motorcycles don't automatically turn off so some new riders can forget to turn them off after use. When in doubt, take the signal as it indicates and leave plenty of room to slow down.
7. Motorcycles are quick and small but don't expect someone to always be able to get out of the way in time. Giving plenty of distance will save lives.
8. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can't always stop "on a dime."
9. Bikers are people too! Remember to think of the motorcycle and the person under the helmet. They are our friends, neighbors and family members.
10. Be careful and encourage others to be as well! If a driver crashes into a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrians, things can change in an instant. Avoid injuries and heartbreak by being mindful on the road.