With the summer sun comes an influx of drivers to Pennsylvania roads. Among these tourists, road trippers and joyriders comes a fleet of motorcycles liberated from their winter garages. Though these vehicles may offer an ideal way to enjoy the sunshine, they come with considerable risk.
Though motorcycles only account for 3% of registered vehicles, riders make up 14% of all traffic-related deaths. Pennsylvania drivers can help motorcyclists stay alive by following these safety tips.
Share the road with motorcycles
When sharing the road with motorcyclists, drivers can focus on their basic driver’s education training. With a few reminders and some careful consideration, Pennsylvanians can see more motorcycles and maintain safer roadways. Keep these tips in mind when driving around motorcycles:
- Bikers need more road: Motorcycles operate differently than cars with quicker reaction speeds and faster acceleration. Pennsylvania drivers can give themselves more time to react by giving motorcycles a wide berth when sharing the road.
- Use turn signals: Many drivers get annoyed when a fellow motorist fails to signal a turn. With motorcycles, this annoyance can become deadly. In multiple-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles, 67% occur when another driver violates the bike’s right-of-way. When driving around bikes, use signals early and often.
- Careful left turns: Left turns are among the most dangerous driving maneuvers a driver can take. Most motorcycle accidents occur in intersections where traffic may obscure vision. Take extra care with left turns.
- No bright lights: Motorcyclists do not have the protection of a full windshield to block the worst of headlight blindness. When driving near motorcycles at night, take extra care to monitor the use of brights.
- Blind spots: Even small blind spots can hide entire cars, so drivers must take extra care when they know a motorcycle is near. Ask passengers to help spot motorcycles and triple-check blind spots before changing lanes.
- No drinking and driving: Drinking and driving is deadly for everyone on the road, especially motorcyclists. Bikers are 29 times more likely to die when involved in an accident — do not increase their chances with a poor decision.
Reach out to a lawyer for help
Those involved in an accident can reach out to a local lawyer familiar with Pennsylvania’s motor vehicle law. An attorney can help assess one’s liability claim, navigate dense insurance paperwork and draft a settlement agreement.