When we get into our cars, it is like entering into our own little world. Everything on the outside is just that, outside. It is easy to become isolated and lose a degree of concern for the outside world. However, this view changes when you're riding a motorcycle. If riders don't pay close attention to what going on around them, it could be fatal.
There are several things that all drivers need to remember about motorcycles that could prevent injuries and potentially save lives. Here are a few things we could do:
- When you see a motorcycle, you should think of that motorcycle as a person and not a vehicle. This is important because people are more vulnerable than cars.
- Never assume that a motorcycle will be able to dodge all traffic. They do have more maneuverability than cars and trucks, but that does not mean they can avoid every dangerous situation.
- Turn signals on motorcycles do not automatically turn off like they do in cars and trucks. There are times when motorcyclists may forget to turn off their signal. Do not assume that a motorcycle will be turning if you see their signal but always be prepared to stop.
- There are fewer motorcycles than cars on the road. They often get overlooked or don’t get recognized. Always check for motorcycles, particularly at intersections.
- Some of the ways motorcyclists slow down are either by down-shifting or rolling off the throttle. Both of these actions do not engage the brake light. For safety reasons, allow a three to four second following distance.
- The small size of a motorcycle makes it difficult to judge the distance and speed of the motorcycle. They can also be hidden in blind spots or even masked by other objects. Always take the time to thoroughly check for traffic.
- A safe riding technique for motorcyclists is adjusting positions within their lane. It increases visibility as well as minimizing the effect on road hazards and passing vehicles. They are not making these adjustments to allow you to share their lane.
In 2009, there were 1,915 motorcycle crashes on Kentucky roadways. Of those, 1,240 were injury crashes and 85 were fatal. By taking a few extra steps and a little extra time, the roads will be safer for everyone.