Authorities worldwide are promoting a defensive driving message that says to “share the road,” and the saying has more to it than a usual slogan.
Motorcycles are great vehicles to get around on, and riding them is enormous fun. I used to ride a bike, and I loved it.
However, as everyone will tell you, riding a motorcycle is dangerous, and this is true for a number of reasons. It is more dangerous than it is driving a car, because your body is obviously more exposed, and it requires more attention from the rider, as some mistakes that are not as scary in a car can mean an accident for a motorcyclist.
This article is meant for drivers, though, who must understand that motorcycling is a great way of commuting and that they must be considerate of those who choose to ride.
While some incidents can happen between drivers without no harm to them or their vehicles, if a motorcycle is involved, anything can go wrong in an instant. As much as people love adrenaline, the whole idea works if you are risking things on your own, not when you endanger someone else's life.
What drivers must understand is that vehicles are bullet-less weapons that are not meant for killing, but they can do that if you are not paying attention. Moreover, a motorcyclist does not have a metal shell around him or her to protect their life in the case of an impact, so it is best to drive safe all the time, be considerate, and avoid impacts at all costs.
In the name of safety of motorcyclists on the roads worldwide and for your peace of mind, we have also developed an easy guide on how to prevent an accident in general, while this one, as mentioned above, is targeted mainly at improving the coexistence between cars and bikes on the road.Beware of “wild” ones
So, if you spot a rider or even another driver that is swerving through traffic, or going from full throttle to full brake, keep your distance. Most of all, stay calm. If you give them space, they will probably go past you, and you can have a nice commute ahead. The erroneous thing to do would be to get mad and create a road rage incident. That would be both dangerous and dumb.
Show you have some maturity in you and avoid them as much as you can. Be considerate of the riders who use the road responsibly, and try to stay out of the way of those who do not. Just remember that a motorcyclist represents him or herself, and all the other riders should not be held accountable for the actions of one individual, or even a group of bikers.
Mirrors and signals
The issue is that drivers pay less and less attention to the road, and end up getting in accidents because of this lack of care. After all, cars these days are safe enough not to get you killed in a fender-bender or even in a more serious accident, so why bother? Well, you can take someone’s life if you are not careful.
Our advice on this is to leave your smartphone alone, keep your eyes on the road, and switch lanes and directions without sudden movements. Always check your mirrors before changing direction and apply the turn signal every time. Try to drive as predictably as possible, so the other road users can easily imagine what your next action will be. “Nobody is here, I can do this” is the premise of an accident
The principle mentioned above, of never assuming something, is essential in defensive driving. Because your mind cannot always predict what other road users will do, and you end up in a dangerous situation. Also, luck only goes so far.
So, if you are at an intersection and you want to get onto the main road, look both ways and do it at least twice. Do not hurry on this one, especially if the road has an incline or if you cannot see in both directions, as a motorcycle could appear unexpectedly.
If you do the maneuver slow enough, the motorcyclist should have time to spot you, brake, and avoid your vehicle. Otherwise, if you just “jump” onto the road, it will increase the likelihood of an accident.
Bear in mind that drivers have trained their subconscious to only spot other cars and trucks, so most will not try to look out for motorcycles as well. Also, motorbikes are harder to see because of their smaller size when compared to a car.Mind your passengers, and your parking
If you have a passenger, and they want to get out of the car, make sure you check the mirror on their side before they try to exit. If a motorcyclist is coming, the door of your vehicle could cause him or her to crash and even die. Watching out for this is the driver’s responsibility. This also goes when you pick up somebody from the side of the road. Always check your mirrors before coming closer to the curb.Avoid suddenly opening your door at a stoplight or when parked on the side of a road, as a cyclist or rider can approach your vehicle and slam into the door. If you do not care about the other person’s life, you should care about the legal consequences of your actions and the fact that your hand might be seriously hurt.
Choose your parking spot wisely and try to avoid obstructing visibility in an intersection. Another vehicle operator could be less cautious and enter the intersection for a better view (because your vehicle obstructs visibility), thus causing an accident.
This happened to me four years ago, when a truck was parked on the side of the road and blocked visibility from an adjacent street. I could not see what was behind it, and neither could the taxi driver that wanted to make a left turn.
Even though I had right of way, I ended up on the pavement when I slammed the brakes on my bike in an attempt to avoid a possibly fatal accident with the taxi. Poor visibility and carelessness caused this incident, along with the fact that my emergency braking skills were not so good back then. Thankfully, I was riding under the speed limit on that section of road and did not suffer bodily harm, except for a sore ankle. Truly share the road
Unlike you, that person is not as safe in the case of an impact, so be considerate of the fact that they are not holding up traffic in a vehicle for transporting a single person, and just let them through. While lane splitting is not legal in all US states, you can always be considerate and leave the rider to take your spot on the road. In return, they will not take up a parking spot somewhere in the city.
Drive like you have a vehicle made of glass, and try to maneuver your car so that nobody must take any evasive maneuvers to avoid you. In other words, do not jeopardize other road users for any reason whatsoever, unless your car is on fire and you need to pull over right away, or you have just had a stroke or something and need emergency medical assistance.