As temperatures increase and pandemic restrictions begin to lift, drivers across the country have returned to the roads. Whether commuting or getting out of town for a summer road trip, it is crucial for drivers to be attentive and aware, especially when sharing the road with motorcyclists. Accidents are common when drivers cannot see motorcyclists on the road.
Since motorcycles require clear conditions to be ridden, the number of riders out in the warmer months tends to be the greatest. Along with uncooperative weather, other drivers play a significant role in the dangers associated with motorcycle travel. While some factors are out of our control, like weather, visibility, and road conditions, driver safety is the best way to help limit severe or fatal motorcycle accidents.
Blind spot awareness
The first step to protecting yourself and others is to understand risks and their associated safety precautions. For cars, the most significant weaknesses are the blind spots. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, most cars have many blind spots, making it difficult for drivers to see motorcyclists or other road users. Drivers must be sure to look around and even check twice before making a lane change or turn.
Double-checking blind spots can help limit the probability of a motorcycle-related accident. Other vehicles are well equipped to withstand impact and provide protection for their passengers, but motorcycles carry more risk. Sharing the road also requires those riding motorcycles and other vehicles to do their best to be visible and cautious when driving in populated or less-than-ideal conditions.
For bikers, it is essential to ensure that the motorcycle and the driver are visible when on the road. If you are entering out on the open road, especially during the early morning or night, here’s what you can do to be seen:
- Wear bright colors
- Drive with caution
Dressing in bright colors, especially when it is dark, is a great way to increase visibility. Be sure to follow traffic safety regulations and be aware of those around you.
However, Attorney John Yannone says, “It is important for drivers to take caution and share the road, even though there are well-known risks associated with motorcycles.”
There is a known risk to owning and operating a motorcycle, but the rate for bikers is much higher than it could be. In the state of Maryland alone, the rate of fatalities for motorcycles has climbed to about 70 riders per year. The ongoing issue has raised concern across the state and the country to spread awareness and improve traffic safety efforts.
Especially after undergoing close to a year of lockdown and pandemic restrictions, no one wants to lose a loved one to a motorcycle accident. Drivers should keep this in mind when getting behind the wheel. It’s impossible to predict an accident, but there are ways to help prevent them.
Be on the lookout for others on the road, and always check your surroundings before crossing lane lines or intersections. Sharing the road is an easy way to limit traffic safety threats and help maintain safe and effective transportation. Drivers’ safety is no joke, and one extra look before going could be the difference between life and death.
Enjoy the summer road trips, and make sure others can too.