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The weather is still warn and as we enter October, there continues to be a large number of motorcycles getting those last miles in. This weekend has seen a couple of collisions that again reminds us that the ryders need to watch out , in the same way that we need to keep seeing motorcycles.

  • Saturday afternoon, a motorcycle rear-ended a truck that was slowing to turn off of Highway 22 onto County Road 29 in Mapleton. Both the driver and passenger were hospitalized.
  • Friday evening, a motorcycle hit the drivers side door of a vehicle and the bike attempted to pass and the truck turned left at U.S. Highway 71 and Todd County Road 73, north of Bertha. The driver was hospitalized when he was thrown from the bike.

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.

While there is may not be a liability claim for the driver , passengers may still have a claim for liability depending on the facts of the collision. It is important that these case be investigated early by an Attorney who does this type of work. Hopefully, both of these people will heal up quickly.

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