Motorcycles are vulnerable on the road due to various factors. One key reason is the failure to yield the right of way. Cognitive bias may also play a role, with cagers failing to recognize the motorcycles present.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes the commonality of motorcycle accidents within intersections. But serious – often fatal – collisions aren’t limited to specific locations.
Bikers are constantly told to make themselves more visible to other motorists. However, safety requires efforts from all involved; riders can’t logically accept responsibility for negligence in the driver’s seat.
Simple changes could improve road safety for all involved. Improvements in sharing the road begin with understanding why accidents happen.
Drivers often struggle to accurately assess the speed and distance of approaching motorcycles, leading to untimely maneuvers. For example, pulling out in front of a bike without understanding its velocity can be extremely dangerous.
Doing so can force bikers to brake hard, potentially resulting in them losing control of the motorcycle. Drivers would be wise to allow bikes to pass before entering roadways or intersections.
Side and rearview mirrors in vehicles only provide a partial view, leaving nearly 40% of a car’s perimeter where motorcycles remain unseen. Drivers who change lanes suddenly, or without signaling, give bikers little time to react accordingly.
Adjusting mirrors and physically looking over the shoulder can help drivers gain a more thorough perspective of those around them.
Despite awareness campaigns, some people still choose to take control of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. This reckless behavior affects vision, reaction times, and motorists’ ability to recognize traffic signals.
Utilizing ridesharing options or enlisting a sober driver increases safety and significantly reduces the chance of legal liability for injuries.
Drivers are capable of reducing the number of motorcycle crashes that occur. Respect for life requires fostering a culture of vigilance, consideration and respect for everyone on the road.