With the spring season, we can expect motorcyclists to hit the roads of Northern Indiana. We're already seeing temps in the high 70s, which serves up some fine motorcycle weather. Unfortunately, the increase in this kind of traffic comes with some serious risks for accidents.
Our Highland motorcycle accident attorneys understand that there were close to 3,500 motorcyclists involved in traffic accidents in the state in 2009. More than 110 of those motorcyclists were killed in those accidents. We're turning to passenger car drivers to help with the safety of these vulnerable travelers.
With help from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, we're dropping a little knowledge on drivers to help to raise awareness about motorcyclists out there. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation urges drivers of all kinds to give these two-wheeled travelers their space. You don't want to cause an accident. Injuring or killing a motorcyclist rider is something you would have to live with for the rest of your life -- and nobody wants that guilt.
Here are some things you should know about motorcycle riders:
-There are a lot more passenger vehicles, cars and trucks out there. Because of that, some drivers don't even recognize motorcyclists. It's important that we don't ignore these drivers. They might actually need more attention than any other vehicle out there.
-They can easily get lost in your blind spots. This is why you want to make sure that these spots are clear before making a maneuver in traffic. Physically turn and check your blind spots before turning or changing lanes.
-They can look farther away than they actually are. Because they're so small, it may be tough to judge their distance as well as their speed. If you see a motorcycle at an intersection or anywhere near you, make sure you always predict that it's closer than it appears to be.
-The brake lights on motorcycles don't always activate when a motorcycle is slowing down. Many riders slow down by simply downshifting, which doesn't turn on the brake light. This is why it's important not to tailgate these drivers.
-Turn signals on motorcycles aren't always self-canceling. Don't ignore the turn signal, but you should know that it may not be on and flashing to indicate an immediately turn.
-Motorcycles can't maneuver out of everything -- although maneuverability is one of their best characteristics. Don't put them in a squeeze.
-Motorcycles can't stop easily on wet surface. On dry, normal pavement, motorcycles can stop in about the same distance as our passenger cars.
-When a motorcycle is on the move, treat it as any other vehicle. They follow the same road laws -- and you should treat them the same. Don't share lanes with them.
With participation from drivers across the board, we can help to make our roadways a safer place for everyone -- and especially for our motorcyclists. With the springtime weather rolling in, check in with your driving habits and toss out those irresponsible ones. It's like spring cleaning for safety.