It was a beautiful spring day and you were out on your motorcycle, riding northbound on North Bell School Road in Rockford. You stopped at the intersection with Rote Road and waited to be sure another driver, who was talking animatedly into her headset, was going to stop. At the last minute, she slammed on the brakes and came to a halt. You then started to make your way north through the intersection. Seconds later, that same driver came plowing into the side of your motorcycle. Now, you are facing a lengthy recovery and months of physical therapy because of her distractedness and inattention.
Distracted driving is a major concern for members of the motorcycling community. Motorcyclists pay a high price when other drivers are inattentive and cause an accident—they have little protection against impact with other vehicles, the pavement, or nearby objects.
Sharing the Road With Motorcycles
Motorists can help to keep motorcyclists safe by limiting distractions and keeping the following things in mind:
- Consciously watch out for motorcycles—especially at intersections. Because there are so many cars and trucks on the road, it can be hard to spot a lone motorcycle.
- Motorcycles can hide in your blind spot or be masked by other objects, so be sure to check carefully before changing lanes or making a turn.
- It can be difficult to judge the speed of a motorcycle, so always assume that a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
- Motorcycles may slow down by downshifting or easing off the throttle instead of braking, so be sure you are not following too closely.
- Turn signals often do not cancel automatically on a motorcycle and riders may forget to turn them off. Stay back and try to determine if a motorcycle’s turn signal is intentional.
- Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and a motorcycle.
- Remember that the person riding that motorcycle is someone’s mother, father, spouse, or child and that they do not have the protection of seat belts, airbags, doors, or a roof.
Reducing driving distractions and paying extra attention to motorcycles is key to preventing unnecessary accident injuries and deaths. If this article helped you, be sure to check out our motorcycle accident blog to learn more.