Fall is a popular time for people to hit the road on their motorcycles. The weather is cool, the leaves are changing, and there is nothing more relaxing than a scenic motorcycle ride through country roads. With all the bikes on the road, however, there are many crucial things for other drivers to consider in order to keep motorcyclists as safe as possible. Here are seven tips for Motorcycle Safety Awareness that all drivers should keep in mind.
1. Be aware of the blind spot.
Many accidents involving motorcycles occur because the car driver did not see the motorcycle. Motorcyclists should never drive in a passenger car’s blind spot. Passenger car and truck drivers should always check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning at an intersection. A good rule of thumb is to check your blind spot twice just to be safe.
2. Leave plenty of room between you and other drivers.
Never tailgate a motorcycle (or any vehicle, for that matter), and follow the 3-second rule for cars and the 4-second rule for motorcycles. When road conditions are bad or it is raining, allow even more room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Slippery roads make stopping more difficult, so err on the side of caution when driving in the rain. Fall leaves on the road may lessen traction for both car and motorcycle tires, and wet leaves may make fast braking even more difficult.
3. Be on the lookout for motorcycles.
Many accidents occur when a driver doesn’t see the motorcycle coming and turns left in front of it. Studies show that people have programmed their minds to look for and expect to see strictly cars and trucks on the highway; demonstrations have shown that drivers can even look at a motorcycle coming their way but still fail to see the motorcycle. Thus, it is crucial to actively train your brain to look for and expect to see motorcycles on the road.
The number of motorcyclists on the road increases on days when the weather is pleasant, so drivers need to proactively be more aware of the motorcyclists around them.
4. Assume the motorcycle is closer than it looks.
It is hard to tell just how fast a motorcyclist is going, so never pull out in front of a motorcycle. Wait for the motorcycle to pass before pulling onto the road and try not to change lanes directly in front of a motorcyclist.
5. Always use your turn signal.
Both passenger car drivers and motorcyclists need to remember this rule. Give ample warning that you want to turn or merge by using your turn signal, and never cut another driver off. Many motorcycle turn signals are not self-canceling, so do not assume that the motorcycle is turning just because their signal is on.
6. Don’t depend on the brake lights.
Not all motorcyclists activate the brake in order to slow down; therefore, drivers and motorcyclists should not depend on brake lights to warn them that the motorcycle is slowing down. The fact that we are not guaranteed to see brake lights is another good reason to stay well behind a motorcycle on the road.
7. Be aware of your surroundings.
Texting and talking on the phone are distractions that may take your life or the life of someone else. Driving defensively requires being focused on the road and what is around us. Not everyone drives considerately or obeys the rules of the road, and we need to be ready to react at a moment’s notice.
For many of us, driver’s education was something we did a long time ago; however, the rules of the road are still just as important and we could all use a reminder now and then. As we proceed into the fall and enjoy all the benefits that sunny fall days and mild weather bring, keep these seven tips in mind. One accident can mean the difference between a great fall and a devastating fall. We can all work together to keep motorcyclists, and all drivers, safe.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, recreational vehicle, motorcycle and personal liability insurance.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or York Marketplace or call us at (717) 764-2024.
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