Please be careful, and aware! Motorcycle Crashes are on the rise. We had another motorcycle fatality last night, the second one in less than two weeks here on the Cape.
Shamelessly stolen from Daniel Lowney's column:
1. Due to the small size of most motorcycles, (when compared to conventional vehicles) they can easily be hidden in a car or truck’s blind spot, blend in with the backgrounds along the roadways or get hidden by bushes, fences, posts, etc.
Before driving into traffic, make sure you clearly check the roadway for all vehicles, especially motorcycles. The same goes for when you are changing lanes or taking turns at intersections. Look out for motorcycles everywhere.
2. Due to the small size of most motorcycles, they may seem to be moving faster than they really are.
Make sure you can properly judge the distance between your vehicle and the motorcycle before turning. Be careful and don’t pull up behind one too fast or you could easily rear-end it.
3. In many instances, the operator of a motorcycle will slow the bike down by downshifting or letting off the throttle. In cases like this, the brake lights will not activate.
The next thing you know, you have a stopped motorcycle in front of you and you can’t stop in time. This is a very common cause of motorcycle versus vehicle collisions. Use caution when coming up behind a motorcycle and be ready to stop with short notice should the driver not use the brakes lights LIKE THEY SHOULD!
4. How many times have you seen a motorcycle driving along with a directional light on but the driver is not turning? This is due to the fact that most motorcycle turn signals are not self-canceling. Therefore, many motorcycle riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to shut them off.
Before you pull in front of a motorcycle because you think they are turning, make darn sure they are turning before you make your move.
5. The stopping distance for a motorcycle is the same as for cars, however, only a seasoned motorcycle driver really knows how to properly apply the brakes on a motorcycle. It involves a precise combination of the front brake and the rear brake. If the motorcyclist locks up on either one too hard, they are going to be tail over tea kettle down the roadway.
Do not expect any motorcyclist to be a professional rider. Assume they are all beginners (which may be partially true!) and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Do not make moves in your car that could cause the motorcyclist to lock up their brakes. Give them plenty of room and plenty of time to stop.