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How can drivers and motorcyclists increase motorcycle safety?

Now that the weather is warming up and it is starting to feel like spring in Iowa, residents will see more and more motorcycles traveling on the roadways. While it is always important to keep an eye out for smaller motor vehicles traveling on the roadways, it is a time of year when additional precaution is necessary to avoid motorcycle accidents.

How can drivers and motorcyclists increase motorcycle safety? There are various ways both can contribute to the safety of motorcyclists, but the most important way is to follow the rules of the road. This means traveling safe speeds, using signals and checking mirrors and blind spots, which should be done every time a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.

When a driver shares the road with a motorcyclist, there are some major tips they should follow. First, drivers should give those riding motorcycles the entire width of the lane and should not attempt to drive in the same lane as a motorcyclist. Next, regular mirror and blind spots check should be performed. These small vehicles can easily go unnoticed, and a driver should be aware if they are still present.

Drivers should always use their signals, especially when traveling near a motorcyclist. Furthermore, drivers should be aware that the blinkers on a motorcycle do not automatically turn off after the rider makes a turn, and riders sometimes fail to turn their blinkers off manually. Lastly, traveling a safe distance from a motorcycle is important. This can allow a motorist to safely maneuver and stop without the risk of striking the motorcyclist from behind.

Finally, motorcyclists can take steps to ride safely. This includes wearing a helmet, using turn signals, wearing bright and visible protective gear and using reflective tape. It is crucial that motorcyclists drive safe, are visible and wear protective gear in order to reduce the chances of fatal or serious injuries if a crash were to occur.

Motorcycle accident can often end tragically, which is why both motorists and motorcyclists should work to prevent these types of accident. A negligent driver could easily be the cause of a motorcycle crash, so it is important that they double check for motorcycles traveling around them.

Source: The Courier Journal, "Tips to prevent motorcycle accidents," Grace Schneider, Dec. 6, 2014

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