Among other things, May is Motorcycle Safety Month, so federal authorities and insurance companies are all getting out the word: Even if a motorcyclist follows every law, he or she can still be involved in an accident.
Figures indicate a big reason is cars, or more properly, their drivers.
Nearly two-thirds of all motorcycle collisions occur with a passenger car and, in a typical motorcycle accident; motorcyclists have less than two seconds to take action to avoid a collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that most motorists are not sufficiently aware of motorcyclists and their safety issues. Among their list of things for motorists to remember are:
• Remember the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
• Look for the motorcyclist on the highway, at intersections, when a motorcyclist may be making a left turn, and when a motorcyclist may be changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions.
• Don’t follow a motorcycle too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.
The administration also points out that “Obstructions (debris, potholes, etc.) that you may ignore or not notice can be deadly for a motorcyclist. Predict evasive actions.”
Along with drivers in parked cars opening their doors without checking, road debris and potholes are also prime accident causes for bicyclists, but given the higher speed and weight, as well as the hot engine and flammable gasoline, motorcycle incidents are more damaging for all concerned, experts say.
“By following a few simple precautions, passenger cars who share the road with riders can help make sure that each trip they take is a safe one,” said Krista Conte, a spokesperson for Allstate Insurance Company.
– Victor G. Mimoni