Motorcyclists in Virginia are at higher risk of getting into accidents than other drivers on the road. Oftentimes, the operator at fault is not the motorcyclist but another motorist on the road. To decrease the number of accidents, drivers need to understand how they can drive differently around motorcycles, and motorcyclists need to take the proper safety precautions.
According to the National Safety Council, motorcyclists are the victims of 13% of fatalities on the road even though they only make up 3% of the registered vehicles. A wide majority of these fatalities are male riders, and around one-quarter of the cases involve alcohol.
Because motorcycle riders make up such a small percentage of vehicles, other motorists need to learn to look out for them and drive differently to reduce the chance of a crash. One of the reasons for accidents is other drivers do not honor the right of way for motorcyclists. This is because motorcycles are smaller and hard to see, it is hard for drivers to see motorcycles due to other vehicles and blind spots and other drivers do not always know what to expect from motorcyclists’ movements.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses how motorcyclists can do their part to help other drivers on the road. One is to wear bright and reflective clothing so they are easily seen by others. The material should be leather or tough denim for the rider’s safety. Other precautions include:
- Ride with traffic flow
- Follow all road signs and traffic laws
- Signal before changing lines
- Take extra precaution at intersections
- Always wear a helmet
- Drive sober
- Keep motorcycle in good working order
- Take a rider safety course