Because of the lovely scenery and relatively moderate weather, Seattle is the home to many motorcyclists. Coastal Washington is also a destination spot for others who travel here just to ride their motorcycles on the area’s roads.
Motorcyclists have the same rights on the road as everyone else. Drivers of other cars need to show the same courtesies that they would to other vehicles.
Drivers need to pay attention to the road, travel at a reasonable speed and follow the traffic laws which we have to keep everyone safe, both motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike.
Moreover, drivers of passenger cars and commercial drivers need to take special care when around motorcycles:
- Because motorcyclists are so much smaller and lighter than passenger cars, a collision is very likely to leave the motorcyclist with serious or catastrophic injuries.
- Smaller and lighter vehicles are more difficult to see. They also tend to travel in other vehicles’ blind spots longer because of their size. The size also makes it harder for other drivers to judge distances.
- What to a car might be an easily navigable object in the road might require a motorcyclist to swerve or slow down suddenly. Objects in the road may even require an operator to lay down their bike, that is, intentionally wipe out to avoid a more serious accident.
- Motorcyclists will not use their brakes as often since doing so can cause the motorcyclist to lose control. They will rely on down-shifting, which means the motorcycle may slow down without a brake light.
Drivers can help keep people safe by giving motorcyclists extra room
In addition to common driving courtesies, drivers should also make sure to give some extra following distance to motorcycles in case the motorcyclists have to slow down or swerve without warning.
Drivers should also never try to beat a motorcycle approaching an intersection. It is best to let the motorcyclist pass.
Finally, drivers need to train themselves to think about and spot motorcyclists. It is very easy to fall in the trap of assuming that there are no motorcycles on the road.
If a driver does not take these steps, they could wind up being legally responsible for a major accident.