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Motorcycle Tips for Cars and Truckers

By Evan L. Kaine

Contrary to what many people believe, motorcyclists have just as much right to be on the road than any other vehicle. Unfortunately, car and truck drivers don’t always see eye to eye with motorcyclists. Whether it is a territorial feeling or having a larger vehicle that makes a driver feel superior, the safety of a motorcyclist is just as important.

The Motorcycle Foundation provides life-long training to riders and advocates for a safer riding environment. The foundation is dedicated to educating and assisting riders as over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. More times than not, the driver of a car or truck is left unhurt while the motorcycle rider is left with serious injuries or dies.

Motorcycle Accidents Can Be Avoided

The number of injuries and fatalities would decrease if drivers knew more about motorcycle safety. Therefore, the foundation put together a simple list for drivers to learn from so they too can become more aware of riders:

  1. The Optical Illusion: Motorcyclists create an optical illusion. Due to the small size of a motorcycle, it can be extremely difficult to judge the speed and distance a motorcycle is traveling. It is important for drivers and truckers to assume a rider is closer than it is and to never pull out in front of one.
  1. The Narrow Profile: Bikes are narrow vehicles. A motorcyclist can be easily hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or hindrances like fences, bridges and bushes. Always take an extra second to double check before changing lanes or if you are near an area with foliage.
  1. The Slow Down: When a motorcyclist downshifts or backs-off the throttle, the brake lights often do not illuminate. A motorcyclist reduces speed quite frequently without hitting the brakes, so it is important to always keep your distance.
  1. Lane Position Change: Believe it or not, motorcyclists change lanes for a reason! Motorcyclists change lanes as they are shifting – which helps reduce wind resistance. Another likely reason is due to debris or the condition of the road. 
  1. Hazards: Although bikes are quick and agile, it takes a very skilled driver to maneuver quickly – especially around an obstacle. While the bike is able to make these changes, this doesn’t always mean that the rider will be able to perform this task without harm. As drivers, we need to give motorcyclists just as much room as any other vehicle on the road. 
  1. Stop!: The ability to maneuver may be easier, but that doesn’t mean a bike will be able to stop as quickly as you think. When conditions are icy or wet, this creates significant trouble for a motorcyclist and distance should be kept at all times.

Motorcycle safety advocates and our team at Kaine Law suggest we look at a motorcycle rider as our neighbor or friend who isn’t as protected as us in a car or truck. Respect their environment and provide riders a safe distance while on the road – this could mean all the difference to them and you!

Published May 09, 2017
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