The Importance of Motorcycle Safety
June 21, 2016
The Governors Highway Safety Association based in Washington, D.C. released a study in late May that stated that motorcycle fatalities in Michigan increased by 23 percent in 2015. This is over double the country’s increase of 10 percent in the same time period, and the group partially attributes the higher number of deaths in Michigan to its 2012 repeal of a law requiring all riders to wear helmets. The chances of a fatality in a motorcycle accident increase if the rider is not wearing a helmet due to increased potential for head injury, but the state feels that riders and passengers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to wear a helmet and if so, what type.
Although the choice to wear a helmet is up to the rider, motorcycle safety, in general, is partly dependent on the other drivers on the road. Most drivers have never ridden motorcycles themselves, and they aren’t aware of the particular dangers motorcyclists face. Here are some brief tips to keep everyone safer on the road:
- Repeatedly check your blind spots, especially around intersections and when turning or passing.
- Adjust your driving accordingly when the weather is bad. Rain, wind, and snow affect motorcyclists more than they affect other drivers, so give them extra space on the road at these times.
- Maintain four seconds of distance between yourself and any motorcycles. Remember that motorcycles stop much faster than cars due to being lighter weight.
- Be sure to remain in your lane and to signal in plenty of time if you’re going to change lanes.
Extra caution around motorcycles is key to ensuring the safety of the motorcyclist because he or she is much more vulnerable to injury than someone riding in a car. What would be a fender bender in a car is a serious, sometimes fatal, accident for a motorcyclist. So be a good citizen on the road and watch for motorcycles. You may end up saving a life.