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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
Attorney • (800) 770-7008

It's Spring: Start Seeing Motorcycles

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It’s amazing how many cases we get from people making turns in front of or into motorcycles. It simple cases of drivers not keeping a look out. The injuries are usually devastating. Please take the time to take a look before making the turns.

It’s clear from registrations that the number of riders on the roads is growing. Spikes in gas prices have usually been the most cited reason for the increase. Plus bikes are often easier to park, use, and maintain.

There is an interesting website that should be reviewed by all riders. The things I found interesting were:

The typical reasons why cars don’t see motorcycles-

    • Most car drivers aren’t familiar with motorcycles, so they don’t think to look for them in traffic.

    • Motorcycle riders typically wear dark colors and can easily blend into the background and "disappear."

    • Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, so they are more difficult to spot in traffic and can be hidden by other vehicles or roadside features.

    • Daytime headlight use does not give motorcycle riders much of an advantage anymore, due to the widespread use of daytime running lights on cars.

    • The smaller size and single headlight on the motorcycle makes it more difficult for other drivers to judge a rider’s speed and distance.

And tips for motorists:

Watch aggressively for motorcycles.

  • Search the traffic around you constantly and expect to see motorcycles.
  • Check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Double-check traffic at intersections before you turn or pull out.
  • Motorcycles can easily be hidden in traffic. Look for a helmet above, tires below, or a shadow alongside a vehicle that you can’t see around.

Anticipate hazards that may confront the motorcyclist and predict how the motorcyclist may react to the situation.

  • Poor road conditions, bad weather, flying debris, oil slicks, and heavy traffic pose high risks for motorcyclists.

Allow a minimum two-second "space cushion" when following a motorcycle.

  • Pick out a fixed object ahead of you. When the motorcycle passes the object, count off, "one thousand one, one thousand two." If you haven’t passed the same object after two seconds, your following distance meets the two-second minimum.
  • In poor driving conditions, at higher speeds and at night, use a four or five-second following distance to give the motorcyclist more space.

Watch out when turning left.

  • Most crashes between cars and motorcycles involve turning left at an intersection. If you are preparing to cross traffic or turn left, take a second look for motorcycles.
  • Because motorcycles are smaller than cars, it is harder to see them and more difficult to judge their approach speed in traffic.

Share the road.

  • Do not drive your car in the same lane as a motorcycle. It is unsafe and illegal.
  • Treat motorcyclists with the same respect and courtesy you afford to other motorists.

Observe and obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.

  • Failure to obey and yield the right-of-way can result in the death or serious injury of a motorcyclist.
  • Stay focused on the driving task. Inattentive driving is a major cause of car-motorcycle crashes.
  • Use turn signals to indicate your next move. This allows the motorcyclist anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
  • Remove all possible distractions that can interfere with the driver’s attention, and remove any objects that may block the driver’s view

It’s clear that the road is big enough for every one. Let’s make sure we look out for each other.