Although a thrilling form of recreation and an enjoyable way to travel, riding a motorcycle also comes with more than its fair share of dangers. The good news is that fatalities are going down, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The bad news is that bikers have a greater chance of death than motorists.
Many factors contribute to the accident rate, such as drunk driving. However, according to the Motorcycle Awareness Campaign of Louisiana, the top reason why motorcyclists get into accidents is other drivers failing to notice riders in traffic.
Obstacles to detecting bikers
Because motorcycles are fast and loud, you would think they are easy to spot. Unfortunately, their smaller size and speed make them more difficult to recognize. But these are not the only challenges.
Drivers have never been more distracted on the road. They simply are not paying enough attention to their surroundings. They do not check their blind spots before switching lanes or making turns. Drivers also tend to not follow right-of-way laws correctly, so riders who think it is safe to go end up in a collision.
You cannot control how others drive, but you can do your part to make it easier for drivers to see you:
- Wear bright, reflective clothing and/or put reflective tape on your motorcycle and gear.
- Stay out of driver blind spots.
- Make eye contact with drivers, when possible, before moving.
- Follow the speed limit.
- Check that all lights, signals and other mechanisms work before hitting the road.
- Ride in groups, as the more bikers there are, the harder it is to miss them.
In addition, only ride when you are sober, and always wear a helmet to reduce the risk of fatal injury in the event of a crash. If a passenger or commercial vehicle hits you, know that you can hold the driver responsible and claim financial compensation for your injuries and motorcycle damage.