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How can motorists increase motorcycle safety?

Now that spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner, motorcyclists have become a constant presence on the roadways in Seattle and elsewhere in the nation. While driving or riding on a motorcycle is a great way to enjoy nice weather, the unfortunate reality is that motorcyclists often face more serious dangers than other motorists on the road. The small size of these vehicles often make them difficult to see; therefore, motorists collide with them when they fail to see a motorcyclist in their blind spot or properly assess the speed and distance of an oncoming motorcyclist.

How can motorists increase motorcycle safety? Since over half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve another automobile, it is important to assess ways to promote motorcycle awareness and ways to increase safety for all travelers. There are more automobiles and trucks on the roads in comparison to motorcycles and motorists do not often recognize a motorcycle right away. While it is usually unintentional, ignoring one's surroundings could easily contribute to a crash.

The narrow profile and small size of a motorcycle allows them to hide in a car's blind spot or cause them to be masked by objects such as bushes, fences and bridges. Because of this, it is important that motorists take the time to look for motorcyclists, even if they do not believe they are traveling near one. Double-checking or triple checking before a lane change could help a motorist evade a serious collision.

A motorcycle's small size also makes it look further away than it really is. This often causes motorists to cross in front of or turn in front of a motorcyclist when it is actually not safe to do. The failure to yield is a common cause of a motorcycle crash.

The maneuverability of a motorcycle is not the same as other automobiles. While in some cases they can be better than other vehicles, if road conditions are not good, this can make stopping difficult. Therefore, it is always important to leave enough distance when traveling behind a motorcycle.

While taking these and other safety measures could help reduce the number of motorcycle accident, this unfortunately will not prevent these tragic collisions from occurring. A motorcycle crash could result in serious injuries and even fatalities, making it important for those harmed in the incident to be aware of the recourses available to them.

Source: Msf-usa.org, "QUICK TIPS: Ten Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles," accessed May 23, 2016

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