May is traditionally motorcyclist awareness month, and that means there’s work to be done!
Motorcyclists only make up around a single percent of road users in the UK, but as much as twelve percent of road deaths. This is a significant statistic, and one which could only partly be explained by the popular idea that motorcyclists are reckless drivers even if that were true.
That means that a substantial portion of road deaths are due to car drivers being, well, unaware of motorcyclists. Something so easily-corrected with such profound implications can easily be corrected, so here are some ways you can reduce the chances of causing a motorcycle accident.
Reduce The Chance Of Causing Motorcycle Accidents
Image by Beverley Goodwin
- Check your mirrors at all times
- Indicate early enough for the signal to be useful
- Before changing lanes or turning, check your blind spot if possible
- Use the speed and positioning of your car to help indicate when you are going to turn or change lanes
- Never drive (or ride) distracted. No phones, even hands-free, and if you have to use Sat-Navs try to minimise their use as much as possible
- Allow a motorcyclist a full lane’s width to manoeuvre within. A motorcyclist needs a full lane’s width to safely ride, and may have to deal with concerns that you don’t have to face
- Remember that a motorcyclist has the same rights and privileges as any other user of the motorway
- Be aware of obstacles that a motorcyclist might have to be aware of that a car driver might not; potholes, slippery surfaces, cracks, railroad crossings and loose stones, mud or gravel all pose problems for motorcyclists. Take these into account when driving near a motorcyclist
- Never tailgate a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to lower-impact collisions than car drivers are, and may be propelled much further forwards in the event of a collision. They also have to face more obstacles, making the chances that they will have to brake or swerve suddenly much higher. Tailgating would be driving within three to four metres of a motorcyclist in good conditions
Motorcyclist accidents peak during the months of April to September, making May the perfect month to raise awareness in.
If you can simply remember that motorcyclists exist, and have an equal claim to the roads, that could form the basis for a substantial reduction in unnecessary biker fatalities.
If you can follow all the steps in this post, you could do even better!
What do you think about #MotorcyclistAwarenessMonth? Get in touch on Twitter @loyaltylaw.