Look Twice- Save a Life- Motorcycle Safety
Be a Safe Driver During all Conditions!
Look Twice! Save a Life!
Whether or not you are an avid motorcyclist, you believe there should be helmet laws or not, or you think only four wheels or more should be allowed on the road, the truth is, the majority of motorcycle accidents don’t happen because someone riding a motorcycle is being careless, the person operating a motor vehicle just don’t see him/her.
I thought that March 20, 2012- the first day of spring, would be a great time to review the rules of the road and perhaps prevent an accident from ever happening.
We live in a fast-paced world where everyone is in a rush to get to work, or get home, or pick up the kids from daycare. But our precious lives or the lives of a loved one could be lost in the blink of an eye. A fatal crash can happen between two cars, or two suv’s, but when a motorcycle is involved, it’s an unfair fight. Regardless of what you are driving from a moped to a tractor trailer, remember these few points.
- The Three Second Rule- During good weather, dry roads, and low traffic, a motor vehicle should maintain a minimum of three seconds between the car in front of you and your vehicle. Since three seconds is the minimum, you should adjust accordingly if you are driving at night, in inclement weather, or following a motorcycle. Especially if you live in a sylvan environment, deer, or any other animal could jump out of the woods, and cause the person in front of you to slam on their brakes. If this happens, you need to be able to stop quickly as well.
- Green means “GO” Yellow means “SLOW DOWN AND PREPARE TO STOP” and Red means “STOP!” We all learned it in driver’s education, but some people really need a refresher course in traffic signals!
- Look twice before changing lanes- Be aware of your vehicles’ blind spot. We all have them, and the larger our vehicle is, the larger our blind spot is. Look to make sure someone isn’t changing lanes the same time you are!
- Go the speed limit. This goes for the minimum and maximum. Most importantly, keep a steady speed. Nothing is more annoying and unsafe, than the person who speeds up, then slams on their brakes intermittently. (Which is also why the 3 second rule is important!) This is especially important in residential communities. I know it’s not fun to go 15mph, but neither is having to go to a hospital or worse yet, a funeral.
- Know when it is safe (and legal) to pass, and pass with care! Don’t pass cars, trucks, or any motor vehicle in a no-passing zone regardless of how slowly Pa Kettle is going on his Sunday afternoon stroll. Wait for the safe passing zone and pass cautiously.
- Use your turn signals! Give the person behind you an adequate caveat that you are about to turn!
- Turn on your headlights from dusk to dawn!
- If you are in an accident or get pulled over, move off to the side of the road-when possible! I am truly amazed at the people who are in little fender-benders, that stop in the lane and get out to check their vehicle. It’s just not safe! Pull your vehicle off the road to prevent another accident from happening!
- Stay focused! Don’t text, talk on the phone, eat a chipped ham sandwich, or try to multi-task; when you are driving- just drive! Most importantly, don’t drive under the influence of any alcohol or drugs- whether they are legal or not
- Avoid road rage when possible. If transportation makes you that angry, try carpooling, or taking the bus!
According to the Hunt Study “the most comprehensive motorcycle study”- on www.bikerhighway.com/motorcycle-safety-info, “The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until it too late to avoid the collision.”
Just make sure to look twice- it might save a life (the precious life of someone’s significant other, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, friend, child, husband, or wife).
Motorcycle Safety Information and Resources
- Motorcycle Safety Information and Resources
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