Summer driving isn’t just about watching out for construction and being alert during the influx of young drivers now that school is out—it’s also a time to be cautious of motorcyclists. It’s easy for a bike to end up in your vehicle’s blind spots.  To share the road safely, all drivers need to get into a habit of being aware of their surroundings and doubling checking during lane changes and turns. Of the traffic fatalities recorded by NHSTA, 14% of those were motorcyclists, even though motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles in the US. We all have a part in lowering that number.

To help ensure a safe road for everyone, we have some tips for both vehicle drivers and motorcyclists to help them become more cautious and be aware of some key places where collisions happen.

For drivers:

Always check your blind spots. This is an important driving tip overall, but it’s particularly important when looking for bikes. It’s simply not enough to check your mirrors. Look over your shoulder too and be sure the lane is clear when making a change.

Don’t tailgate. Give yourself more time to react to all changes in traffic flow. It takes most vehicles three seconds to make a complete stop.

Be cautious when making a left turn. Many vehicle/motorcycle accidents happen when turning left into oncoming traffic. Again, it’s important to know your vehicles blind spots and to check them.

Remember motorcycles are different than vehicles. Because of their small size, a motorcycle may look like it’s farther away or moving slower than it actually is. Be aware of that when you’re driving and turning.

 

For motorcyclists:

Protect yourself with your gear. Wear long pants and sleeves made with a protective material like leather. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet to protect the most important part of your body—your head.

Avoid bad weather. High winds or hard rain can be tough to drive in when you’re exposed to the elements, and it also makes it harder for drivers to spot you.

Check your lights. If you are caught in bad weather or it’s hazy outside, having your lights on could save your life.

Be cautious at intersections. Many of crashes happen at intersections. Be extra aware of your surroundings and proceed with caution.

Overall, both drivers and motorcycles should never drink and drive. Of the motorcyclists killed in vehicle accidents, around 25% of those involved were impaired drivers (NHTSA).

Stay alert this summer and always know your surroundings when you’re driving to help prevent accidents and potential fatalities. If you are involved in a collision, Crossroads Collision’s experts can help with navigating insurance and finding best course of action for your vehicle’s autobody repair.