When we look to see if it is safe to make a lane change, a turn across traffic or a turn onto a new street we typically look to see if there are any cars in the way. When we look for a specific obstruction our search can return an ‘all clear’ even though some other type of obstruction is there. This is part of the reason pedestrians and motorcyclists and bicyclists are hit by motorists who, ‘didn’t see them’. Please search for a clear path of travel – one free of ALL obstructions. This should help you see the bicyclist, or pedestrian or motorcyclists. And, look twice.
Here is an excerpt from a message from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Check the laws in your state as they vary, especially regarding helmet use. MasterDrive’s stance is that it ALWAYS a good idea to wear a helmet and all the other safety gear when riding a motorcycle. No one should ride without wearing all their safety gear – ever.
“According to preliminary data from CDOT, 40 motorcyclists lost their lives during the first half of 2015 and 90 motorcyclists were killed in 2014; 97% were males. Nationally, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclist fatalities occurred 26 times more frequently than passenger car occupants in a traffic crash.
“The riding season is still going strong so we ask everyone to be careful, including the motorcycle riders themselves,” said Sam Cole, a public relations official for CDOT. “We’ve already seen 40 deaths this year, that’s 40 deaths too many.”
Motorcyclists make up just three percent of vehicles on the road but account for 18% of overall fatalities. These fatalities tend to peak during the summer months with more motorcycles on the road. CDOT’s campaign raises awareness urging drivers to use extra caution.
“Looking twice helps ensure drivers see motorcyclists,” said Cole.
Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 1,630 lives were saved in 2013 because of proper helmet usage, and another 715 lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn. Colorado does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets.
CDOT offers these tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:
Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
Never drive distracted or impaired.
Additional information is available at; https://www.codot.gov/safety/live-to-ride/