Many motorcycle accidents are not caused by the motorcyclists themselves. Instead, the motorists around them in larger vehicles are often to blame for motorcycle wrecks. The problem originates from the fact that many drivers only know how to share the road with other drivers, not motorcycle riders. This lack of familiarity can cause a variety of mistakes that increase the risk of getting into a crash.
Mistakes that motorists make when sharing the road with motorcyclists are:
- Tailgating: When a driver follows too closely to the vehicle in front of them, they are tailgating. This driving behavior is always dangerous, but it is especially dangerous when a driver tailgates a motorcycle. The smaller, lighter motorcycle can come to a complete stop in a much shorter distance than the average passenger vehicle like a car, van, or SUV. If the motorcyclist comes to a sudden stop, then the driver behind them will likely be unable to stop in time, resulting in a rear-end collision that can buck the motorcyclist right off their ride.
- Turning left without an arrow: Drivers need to use extreme caution when turning left through an intersection without a green arrow. Failing to judge the speed and distances of approaching vehicles can cause a devastating accident. Because motorcycles are smaller than cars, it can be more difficult for drivers to correctly judge their speed and distance, making it more likely that they will inadvertently cut off an approaching motorcyclist when turning left across opposing lanes of traffic.
- Not checking mirrors and blind spots: While learning how to drive a car, most drivers become accustomed to checking blind spots and mirrors for cars, trucks, and basically any large vehicle with two headlights. This familiarity and assumption can cause a driver to check their blind spot, look right at a motorcyclist, and not acknowledge that they are there. Drivers need to be more mindful about checking mirrors and blind spots for anything, not just for cars.
If you can remember these motorist mistakes, then you will be safer whenever you ride your motorcycle. Of course, you will also help keep the roads safe for motorcyclists if you are a motorist who remembers these mistakes and actively tries to avoid them.