Even when fully equipped with a full-face helmet, leather riding suit and moto boots, motorcyclists are extremely susceptible to serious or fatal injuries in the event of a collision. While driving alongside motorcycles, you can actually help protect these individuals from unsafe driving conditions by utilizing proven safety practices. Adopting safe driving practices not only keep motorcyclists safe from harm, but also goes a long way in protecting you as well. Read on to learn about four important tips for sharing the road with motorcyclists to make your trips as safe as possible.
Understand Vehicle Differences
Motorcycles handle far differently than other vehicles on the road, making it difficult to intuitively respond to their actions. Drivers often have to avoid uneven surfaces and debris in the road to avoid skidding out or getting involved in a motorcycle crash. Train tracks, potholes and other roadway hazards cause motorcyclists to slow down and weave around the obstacle to remain safely on two wheels. Furthermore, on average, motorcycles can stop much faster than equivalent four wheeled vehicles.
Increase Your Following Distance
The vast differences between two and four wheeled vehicles demands an adjustment to your normal following distances. While traveling on city streets, you should increase your normal following distance of two seconds to four beats. On highways, the four second following distance should be increased by at least two seconds as well, though doubling it gives you both even more protection.
Watch for Hand and Light Signals
Since motorcycles have smaller than normal turn signals, they can be difficult to see in the daytime. To compensate for this, motorcyclists may use hand signals, in conjunction with their vehicle’s lights, to indicate a turn. Motorcyclists may also use hand signals to indicate nearby road hazards and other upcoming obstructions. You must correctly read the hand signals used for right and left turns to understand the information provided by the motorcyclists around you. If in doubt, slow down and use caution until you have passed the indicated issue.
Check and Double Check Before Turning Out
Many motorcyclists end up seriously injured or killed when drivers fail to note their presence, or misjudge their speed, while turning out on the roadway. Protect your fellow motorists, and yourself, by checking at least twice both ways before pulling out of a driveway or side street. Ensure your vehicle remains visible by keeping your headlights on and using your turn signals to allow motorcyclists to better see your vehicle.
Despite your best efforts to remain safe on the road, automotive accidents may still occur. If you are involved in an accident with a motorcycle or any other vehicle, contact Branch & Dhillon, P.C. at 817-533-3430 to acquire legal representation for your case.