Accidents involving motorcycles often result in devastating and life-changing injuries or death. The unfortunate reality is that most motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle and often the driver of the larger vehicle is ultimately responsible for the collision.
While motorcyclists need to take precautions and watch out for their own safety, other motorists can make an enormous impact when it comes to the safety of motorcyclists on Kentucky’s roads. Motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of injury or death than other motorists, which means every person in every type of vehicle has a role to play in reducing the amount and devastation of motorcycle accidents.
Drivers can make a difference
Those travelers on the road in larger vehicles wield a lot of power whether you’re aware of it or not. As of 2016, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than those in passenger vehicles to die in a traffic collision. The majority of all motorcycle-involved collisions are due to other drivers failing to see a motorcyclist or provide the adequate amount of space and consideration for these smaller, more susceptible motorists.
While motorcyclists obtain extra training and take the necessary safety precautions for themselves, they can only do so much when it comes to interacting with other vehicles on the road. Other motorists can not only do more damage, but they can also make a bigger impact on safety through the use of a few simple safety reminders:
- Always use a vehicle’s turn signal and let it run for a few seconds before moving across lanes of traffic. Whether turning left or changing lanes, allow other motorists to see the signal and adjust if necessary.
- Take an extra look at blind spots and your general surrounding before making a move across lanes of traffic as well. One look is often not enough to spot a smaller vehicle. The little extra time can mean the difference between safety and disaster.
- Never tailgate a motorcyclist in traffic. Follow far enough behind to give your vehicle ample time to stop safely. Four seconds is the minimum amount of follow time you should leave.
- Give motorcyclists the same amount of space in a lane as you would for other vehicles. Don’t crowd into a lane next to a motorcycle or force a rider to split lanes.
Drivers are not the only people who contribute to safety concerns for motorcycles, but they can make a major difference in increasing safety on Kentucky’s roads. Every traveler is simply trying to get from point A to point B in the safest way possible, so spare a couple of extra seconds to ensure your fellow travelers can do so safely.