Summer is here, and along with that beautiful Kentucky sun comes a boom in highway traffic. Specifically, Kentuckians bring out their motorcycles to make the most of their long, scenic drives.
Keeping these motorcyclists safe becomes more difficult in the summer. Traffic fatalities spike between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so Kentuckians must practice safer driving. What can drivers do to help bikers?
Driving tactics to increase motorcycle awareness
Most dangerous driving stems from a lack of awareness. Drivers are more easily distracted during summer months or do not know how to check specifically for motorcycles. Drivers who keep these tips in mind will make roads considerably safer for motorcycles:
- Double-check blind spots: Motorcycles can hide in much smaller blind spots than cars. Take extra care when changing lanes; 67% of all multiple-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles occur when a car violates the biker’s right-of-way.
- Give motorcycles more space: Whether driving in front of, next to, or behind a motorcycle, give the biker more room to operate. Motorcycles move, react and accelerate much differently than cars. Responsible drivers will give themselves more time to understand the biker’s intention before responding.
- Do not use brights: Motorcycles do not have windshields that protect from bright lights. Keep headlights dim at night, especially if motorcycles are near.
- Do not drive under the influence: Driving while intoxicated is illegal because it is unsafe. Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in an accident. Alcohol increases those odds considerably.
- Be careful turning left: Most bike accidents occur in intersections. When turning left, cars and trucks have difficulty seeing much of the intersecting streets, creating fatal traps for motorcycles.
- Use turn signals: Where a forgotten turn signal may annoy another car driver, it may be fatal for a motorcyclist. Bikers need accurate information from neighboring traffic to make good driving decisions.
A lawyer can answer questions
Those involved in an accident with a motorcycle can contact a local lawyer familiar with Kentucky motor vehicle law. An attorney can assess one’s case, work with health insurance companies and draft a settlement agreement.