Motorcycle accidents and motorist awareness
There is a reason for all those bumper stickers that say “start seeing motorcycles.” Far too many motorists do not do enough to recognize motorcycle riders or to share the road with them.
The result is that many motor accidents are caused by negligence of motorists. The when a motorcycle is in a collision with another vehicle, it’s most often the other vehicle that has infringed on the right-of-way to which the motorcyclist was legally entitled.
So what can be done to educate motorists so that they do a better job of seeing motorcycles? After all, better seeing will only come with better thinking about what to expect on the road. It’s a matter of training more than of eyesight.
In the digital age, seeing motorcycles more effectively means, for starters, avoiding distracted driving. Cellphones and other electronic devices have created increasing temptations for drivers. This can include on-board navigation systems that are built right into the car.
Motorists who engage in distracted driving will have a hard time seeing all types of traffic. And that certainly includes motorcycles. Indeed, it even includes motorcycles whose riders are trying to be as conspicuous as possible, such as by wearing brightly colored clothing or having their lights on during the daytime.
It is also very important, however, that driver education and training programs do a better job at emphasizing the need to be aware of motorcycles and share the road with them. These efforts should be restricted to driver training for teenagers, either. Similar efforts should be made in mature driver programs for seniors, as well as remedial driving programs.
Source: “Motorist Awareness,” NHTSA.gov
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