In 2020, 5,579 motorcyclists were involved in fatal traffic accidents. There are many reasons this number is so high, but most of the accidents are due to other drivers. By putting an end to bad habits like distracted driving or not giving motorcyclists enough space, drivers can help motorcyclists stay safe on their rides.
12 Ways Drivers Can Help Motorcyclists Stay Safe on the Road
1. Put Away Your Phone
The easiest way to make a motorcyclist feel safer is to put away your phone. You shouldn't be using it while driving in the first place, as it is the most common form of distracted driving.
2. Only Drive Sober
This speaks for itself. Never drive with alcohol in your system. It slows down your reaction time, reduces your concentration, and substantially impairs your vehicle control. You need full control of your car, especially when driving near motorcycles.
3. Give Motorcyclists Extra Space
It's common to misjudge the speed and distance of a motorcycle compared to a car. Always give bikes an extra cushion to prevent rear-ending them if you have to come to a quick stop. While a collision may just be a fender bender to a car, it could kill a motorcyclist.
4. Adjust Your Mirrors
Your mirrors should be adjusted to minimize blind spots. Cars are usually easy to see, but a much smaller motorcycle can sneak into a blind spot.
5. Talk to Young Drivers about Motorcycles
Newer drivers might not be aware of the damage they can cause to a motorcyclist if they make a mistake while driving. Inform them that they need to share the roads and always be alert to their surroundings.
6. Open Doors Cautiously
If you park on a road with heavy traffic, be sure to look behind you when you open the door. You could open your door and clip a motorcyclist if you aren't paying attention.
7. Slow Down at Intersections
Forty-two percent of fatal collisions involving vehicles and motorcycles occurred while a motorcyclist was making a left turn and a vehicle was going straight through an intersection. Always slow down when going through an intersection, especially if you have any obstructed vision.
8. Have Your Passengers Watch for Motorcyclists
Your passengers can see different parts of the road that are a blindspot to you. Have them alert you if they see a motorcycle approaching in case you missed it.
9. Pay Attention in Construction Zones
Operating a motorcycle in a construction zone can be challenging, especially if there are rough patches, obstacles, or grade or surface changes. Give them extra space in case they have to make a quick stop or turn.
10. Be Careful in Inclement Weather
While you are in the comfort of your vehicle in inclement weather, a motorcyclist has to deal with the rain directly. It's harder to drive in inclement weather, so give them extra time and space. Their vision is likely affected and they need more stopping distance.
11. Turn Down the Volume
Usually, you can hear a motorcycle long before you see it — unless you're blasting music in your car. Try to keep your volume at a reasonable level so that you can hear a motorcycle approaching.
12. Don't Rely on Turn Signals
You can't always trust a driver to properly use their turn siwgnals. Keep in mind that a motorcycle could potentially cut in front of you without a signal.
Keep Motorcyclists Safe on Their Ride
It's up to automobile drivers to do their part to keep motorcyclists safe on the road. Never drive distracted or drunk, and keep full attention to your surroundings. One additional way to stay safe on the road is by taking a defensive driving course. They are available for both teens and adults and will go more in-depth about driver safety.