The summer months are prime for motorcycle riding in South Dakota. It is also a good time for motor vehicle drivers to remind themselves about the importance of motorcycle safety. Drivers of passenger vehicles play an important role in keeping motorcycle riders safe on the highway and should follow important safety tips to help prevent motorcycle accidents.
Over half of fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. According to some statistics, most of the time, the driver of the other vehicle is to blame. Car and truck drivers often fail to notice motorcyclists on the road near them before turning in front of them or otherwise violating the motorcyclist’s right of way and causing an accident.
Watch out for motorcycles
Some ways for drivers to keep motorcycle riders safe include:
- Drivers should take extra time to scan for motorcycles when they are changing lanes or turning into intersections. Motorcycles are smaller visual targets that can be easily missed.
- Motorcycles can appear farther away than they are and it may be difficult to judge the speed of a motorcycle. It is essential to proceed with caution when entering an intersection and turning in front of a motorcycle.
- Motorcycles may slow down by downshifting, which will not activate their brake lights. Motorcycles also do not have self-canceling turn signals, so it may be more challenging to predict a motorcycle’s next move. It is important to allow extra following distance between passenger vehicles and motorcycles and to proceed with caution around motorcycles.
- Motorcycles may have to adjust quickly to road debris, passing vehicles and changes in roadway conditions, which is another reason why it is helpful to increase the following distance behind motorcycles and always allow them their full lane to travel in.
Motorcycles are smaller and more vulnerable on the roadways. Other drivers need to do their part to take a second and third look for motorcycles, increase following distance around them and remain on alert for motorcycles and their safety.
When drivers fail to account for the safety of motorcyclists, victims may need to bring a personal injury claim for damages which can potentially help with their physical, financial and emotional damages suffered at the hands of a negligent driver.