Tips for Drivers: How to Avoid Accidents with Motorcycles

CORTE MADERA, CA - OCTOBER 16: A motorcyclist rides between cars in slow moving traffic on Highway 101 October 16, 2007 in Corte Madera, California. Motorcycle deaths are on the rise in California with 433 deaths in 2006, up from 275 in 2000. Officials estimate that deaths are up another 8 percent this year as sales of powerful motorcycle continue on an upward trend. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Motorcycle accidents result in some of the most severe injuries on the road. Riding is a fun activity that many people enjoy, but it does have its dangers. With over 600,000 registered bikers in Canada, It is important that both bikers and car drivers alike take preventive measure to reduce the risk of accidents.

There are several simple and important steps you can take as a motorist to decrease your risk of being involved in a collision with a motorcycle:

1.  Always be on the alert for motorcycles. It is much easier to accidentally overlook a motorcycle on the road than it is to overlook a car, and we all know how easy it is to miss a car in the blind spot. Because motorcycles are smaller and generally have more maneuverability than cars, it can be harder to spot them on the road.  The majority of motorcycle and car collisions occur simply because the driver just didn’t notice the motorcycle until it was too late.

2. Keep in mind that there are many more motorcycles on the road during the warmer months. During spring and summer make sure that you keep a watchful eye out for motorcyclists. Often times drivers are not fully accustomed to the influx of motorcyclists when spring arrives, so drivers must make a conscious effort to stay vigilant.

3. Always use your turn signals. This can make the difference between life and death. Motorcyclists rely on turn signals to let them know when it is safe to cross and when they need to keep their distance. This step becomes even more important considering how easy it is to accidentally overlook a motorcyclist. Even if you do not see other vehicles on the road, you should always use your turn signal.

4.  Avoid distractions while driving. Texting or talking on your cell phone while driving is not only dangerous to you, but greatly diminishes your ability to spot other drivers on the road and avoid hazardous conditions.

5. Be careful when entering crossroads and intersections. Make sure to look left and right, and don’t be it too much of a hurry. Many motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, when drivers simply fail to notice them until it is too late. When making left hand turns it is extra important to check for motorcycles because of decreased driver visibility.

6: Stay at least four car lengths behind motorcycles on the road. Motorcycles have a much shorter stopping distance, so you should always allow yourself enough space to stop in time in the event of any hazards.

Remember that responsible driving habits last a lifetime, and keep everyone on the road safe.


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