Warm weather is motorcycle weather, and there are certainly lots of cyclists on the road in Somerset County. At Ron’s Collision Center, we urge drivers to always “Look Twice, Save A Life! Motorcycles are Everywhere.”
This safety slogan has been widely publicized by various A.B.A.T.E. (Alliance of Bikers Aimed Towards Education) organizations across the US, and each year we feature it on our billboard advertising as a way to remind local motorists to watch out for motorcycles.
A.B.A.T.E. points out that motorcycles are full-fledged motor vehicles, and are equally entitled to share the road with cars and trucks. Yet we see many accidents involving motorcycles. Statistics show that many of these accidents occur because drivers simply “did not see the motorcycle coming.”
Here are some safety suggestions are offered by A.B.A.T.E. of PA:
Look out for motorcyclists. Be aware that although you may not see any cars, there may be an unnoticed motorcycle. Be careful at intersections, particularly when making left turns.
Try to anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuvers. Motorcyclists may change positions in the lane to better observe traffic flow, respond to road conditions, get motorist’s attention and other factors. Expect and allow room for this.
Signal your intentions, even if you don’t see cars in front or behind you.
Give motorcycles a full lane to maneuver just as you would a vehicle.
Don’t tailgate a motorcycle. Motorcyclists may need to slow down quickly, swerve or change lane position to avoid gravel, rocks, oil slicks, animals and other road debris. Keep a four second distance between you and the motorcycle.
Motorcycles can be difficult to maneuver. They can turn and swerve very well at slow speed. However, motorcycles traveling at highway speed are more difficult to maneuver in problem situations and, unlike cars, require more concentration and coordination to be operated safely.
Pay attention to a motorcyclist’s hand signals. Some motorcycles do not have self-canceling turn signals. Therefore, wait to see what the motorcyclist does before you make your move.
Motorcyclists often ride in groups. When entering or exiting a highway, or attempting to pass a group of motorcyclists, do not cut into the group unless the group has provided space for you. If there isn’t any space, let the group pass before making your move. And when passing, make sure you can safely pass the entire group or move into the space provided for you.