How car drivers can avoid a motorcycle accident
It’s a stark fact but according to the Department of Transport figures motorcyclists account for just 1% of total road traffic in the UK, but account for a massive 19% of all road user deaths.
Their research continues to show that motorcyclists are roughly 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants and in 2013, 331 motorcyclists died and 4,866 were seriously injured in road collisions in Great Britain – now this figure is slowly falling but it is still way too high.
A large percentage of these deaths and injuries happen when they are involved in accidents with other motor vehicles, and whilst it isn’t always the fault of the other vehicle, there are some very basic things that car drivers can do to help cut these deaths and serious injuries. Here are our top tips:
At a Junction
Before you turn either way, check in your mirrors to make sure there is not a motorcycle there, bikes have a much smaller profile than cars, so please take a little extra and a little longer to ensure that there isn’t a bike about to overtake or undertake you.
Keep your distance
It’s the same rule with all vehicles, but driving too close can intimidate a less experienced motorcyclist (I know, I was recently a new rider!). Keep back and give them some room.
Keep your Temper
I rode a small 125cc scooter for commuting, and on some of my commute roads I wasn’t the fastest vehicle on the road, my speed was appropriate for the road, but I know that my top speed angered some car drivers who wanted to go faster – please keep your temper; if you don’t then it’s easy to make the wrong driving decision that could lead to an incident (or even a death).
A motorcycle is an easy target when opening a car door! Check for motorcyclists before opening your door – and remind your passengers to do the same.
Also, when you pull away from a parking spot, remember to look specifically for motorcyclists as they can accelerate much faster than cars.
Check for bikes when changing lanes – a motorcyclist may be in the space you want to move into, or moving into it fast.
Remember your blind spot and take extra care.
Need to overtake a motorcyclist? It could be me on my 125cc scooter! Remember to give them the same amount of room as you would when overtaking another car.
Pulling out of a Side Road
As you pull out from a junction make sure there are no motorcycles on the main road; again, motorcycles have a smaller profile than any other vehicle on the road which makes them more difficult to see, so once you’ve checked, please check again.
Let’s all make the roads safer together.
For more information, check our motorcycle accident page.