Tips For Drivers, Motorcyclists To Safely Share The Road
SALT LAKE CITY — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than occupants in passenger cars. In 2020, we lost 44 riders on Utah roads.
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month — as most motorcyclists start hitting the road for the season.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2017, motorcycles made up only 3% of registered vehicles on the road and less than 1% of all vehicle miles in the U.S. Still, they accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities.
Since motorcycles are only a tiny percentage of vehicles on the road, it becomes easy to forget about them. In fact, when a motorcycle is involved in a crash, it is usually the other vehicle’s fault — often a driver who failed to see the motorcyclist.
Here are some things to think about when sharing the road with motorcycles:
- They are smaller, harder to see and fit into our blind spot much easier than a larger vehicle.
- More than half of all collisions with motorcycles occur in intersections. Take extra time before you make that left turn to check for a motorcycle with the right of way.
- It is harder to judge the distance of a motorcycle approaching an intersection. If there is a question, wait until it passes to proceed.
- Motorcycles can stop in a shorter distance than vehicles can. Give them some room; if they have to stop suddenly, you may not be able to.
- Become familiar with the lane filtering law. In Utah, it is legal in most situations for motorcycles to filter between lanes while other cars are stopped at an intersection.
As the driver of a motorcycle, consider these things:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Bright clothing can help you stand out to drivers.
- Drive more defensively when on a motorcycle, especially in intersections.
- Always have your headlight turned on.
- Consider taking a motorcycle safety course if you are a new rider or haven’t ridden for a while.
Let’s all do our part. Drivers, take an extra few seconds to watch for motorcycles. What may be a small dent or repair for you could mean severe injury for a motorcycle rider.
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