When you travel across Indiana, you are likely to encounter a wide range of motor vehicles, including traditional cars, SUVs, and trucks. Additionally, state highways serve as interstate connections for countless commercial truckers. Furthermore, roads also include smaller rides like motorcycles and bicyclists, along with pedestrians.
There is no denying that road safety is becoming even more important as the traffic on our roads becomes more diverse.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists and bicyclists face increased challenges and dangers on the road. People that rely on these types of transport are at a higher risk of serious injury or death in the event of an MVA (motor vehicle accident).
Therefore, it is vital that we all take an interest in keeping our roads safe by acknowledging and observing smaller transport vehicles on Indiana roads and highways. Those that share the road with small, compact types of transportation need to demonstrate extra vigilance by following these five safety tips for sharing Indiana roads with motorcycles.
Dangers of Motorcycles on Indiana Roads
Whenever you get behind the wheel of an automobile it is essential to realize the power and fate that lies within your hands. While motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are tragically inevitable, we can all do our part in lowering the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths each year.
Motorcycles are compact, not extremely visible, and fast. They can often creep up along a road or highway without warning. Consequently, all drivers on the road have to remain aware of their surroundings to avoid collisions with bikes.
Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash. Additionally, they are five times more likely to suffer injuries (often serious or life-threatening) because of an accident.
For this reason, the best road safety measures in the state of Indiana revolve around creating awareness and understanding between motorcyclists, bicyclists, and other types of motorists.
Fortunately, Indiana is doing its part as motor vehicle accidents are slightly down for this year compared to 2018. However, the state can still improve on these statistics as it averages over 800 MVA-related deaths per year. Raising awareness about how to handle motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians goes a long way in lowering the number of annual MVA deaths in Indiana.
1. Focus on the Road
Drunk driving has been a major problem in the last few decades, which led to harsher penalties and punishments for infractions. The same could eventually be true for distracted driving. However, right now, there are limited punishments for this type of bad driving behavior.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as “the act of driving while engaging in other activities which distract the driver’s attention away from the road.” While it is a broad example that can include several activities, it more often is linked with using a cellphone while trying to operate a motor vehicle.
Consequently, the first safety tip for sharing Indiana roads with motorcycles is simply to focus on the road. Distracted driving is known to compromise not only your safety but also the safety of other motorists and pedestrians.
2. Avoid Aggressive Driving Behavior
Anyone that has operated a motor vehicle on Indiana highways for a long time will notice an unfortunate trend—road rage and aggressive driving. Aggressive driving is labeled as “the behavior of an individual who commits a combination of moving traffic offenses and endangers other persons or property.”
The bottom line—don’t be a bully on Indiana highways and local roads. Motorists with larger vehicles like a truck or SUV should realize this doesn’t entitle them to own more of the road. We all share our roads, so travel safely on them!
3. Double-Check Your Blind Spots
Blind spots are the portions of the road you cannot see either with your own eyes or any of the mirrors installed on the vehicle. While your side and rearview mirrors do assist you with safety, they do not cover 100% of the road.
Since motorcycles are small and fast, they often creep up on motorists and enter their blind spots, leading to a serious accident. Unfortunately, this only leads to a motorcycle accident lawyer and costly litigation.
4. Use Extra Caution on Left Turns
Left turns are notoriously tricky, especially for young or inexperienced drivers, vehicles caught in a busy intersection, or those dealing with sun glare.
The driver needs to check several places before making the turn, which often means they forget the most important spot to check. Most accidents between regular size vehicles and motorcycles occur at intersections, so use extra precaution when making a left turn.
5. Provide Adequate Following Distance
There is an abundance of vehicles on the road that follow too closely and break late when in traffic. You likely encounter at least one car that drives closely behind you on your daily commute.
For this reason, you should always allow adequate following distance, especially with motorcycles. These bikes often reduce speed without braking, which means you might realize they are slowing down after it’s too late.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Contact Stewart & Stewart—they have a dedicated team with expertise in MVA-related accidents and injuries. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at 1-866-926-2419.