Its clear to anyone that a motorist is better protected than a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists wearing all the proper safety gear are still at risk without the protective shield of a car’s body. The lack of seatbelts and airbags often mean that a biker takes the full force of a crash. This article highlights the key things you as a motorist can do to avoid having a collision with a motorcyclist wherever you are.
Don’t be lazy checking your blind spots
Checking your blind spots is a fundamental lesson when learning to drive. However, once a motorist has passed their test, it’s clear from the increasing rate of bike accidents on the road that this is a skill that isn’t maintained. For obvious reasons, cyclists and motorcyclists are far less easy to see than your standard cars and vans. Bikers can pass cars very quickly and catch you off guard when you haven’t checked your blindspots regularly and adequately. This means that it feels as if a biker suddenly appears when you’re not expecting it.
Checking your blind spot is especially important when turning a corner, moving to another lane and pulling out of a junction. Before you make any manoeuvre, you must remember that someone’s life might be in your hands if you only make a glance.
Be more aware of your surroundings
Just like your blind spot, you must be mindful of every single aspect of driving. Driving safely and therefore, not putting any other road users at risk is a priority as a motorist. You are responsible for your driving. Avoiding an accident has a tremendous amount to do with anticipating other road users’ actions. You need to anticipate other bikers at all times.
Keep an eye on whether a biker will change lanes, whether they intend to filter through standing traffic. Everyone knows that some motorcyclists will weave in and out of traffic, they are also quicker with acceleration thanks to their lightweight design features. Whenever you encounter a motorcyclist, you should anticipate their speed to help determine any possible hazards. The critical information here is to be prepared at all times should you need to alter your driving to avoid an unpleasant accident.
Be extra vigilant when at a Junction
Arguably junctions are the most dangerous aspect of travelling for all road users. Those who ride motorcycles and bicycles are even more at risk as it is more challenging to spot motorcyclists and cyclists at junctions. When you approach a give way or stop sign, you must take extra care and time to be sure that there are no motorcyclists before proceeding to manoeuvre. In particularly in the evenings/night when there is limited to no daylight.
Leave adequate distance
All motorists should always leave sufficient space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Bikers are extra vulnerable because of the size of their machine. This is key when moving as well as when stationary, for example, at a traffic light, especially for motorcyclists as they can stop quicker than you may expect. Various aspects of the road conditions can cause them to lose control, for example if there is an uneven road surface or very wet or icy surfaces.
When driving past motorcyclists, make sure you are showing your intentions clearly, indicating with sufficient time to manoeuvre is essential. When overtaking to go in front, make sure you indicate and pull back in once, there is adequate space between you and the motorcyclist.
Take care when you are accelerating, especially if you are driving a large vehicle, as the gust of air produced can potentially cause the motorcyclist to run off the road resulting in a potentially severe accident. Taking time to be cautious of your surroundings and considering your manoeuvres will help prevent serious accidents on the roads. Due to the nature of motorcycles and cyclists, they are more vulnerable as they don’t have the caged protection that a car has. Saying that you didn’t see a motorcyclist isn’t an acceptable excuse as it is your responsibility to be constantly aware of your actions when travelling on the roads.