Drivers in and around Dougherty County will likely see motorcyclists on the road not only during summer but also at most other times of the year.
Motorcyclists have the same rights to be on the road as other drivers. However, the fact is that many drivers don’t give motorcycles the same level of attention they give to cars and trucks. This can lead to accidents, and motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to a serious injury in an accident.
Even if they wear a helmet and other protective gear, the fact that a motorcyclist is on a relatively small and open vehicle means the motorcyclist will usually get the worst of it in a collision.
Even a near miss with a full-sized vehicle could cause either the motorcyclist to fall or the bike to roll over. It is simply harder for a motorcyclist to recover from a swerve or sudden stop.
Motorcycle awareness involves more than attentive driving
As a good first step toward motorcycle awareness, a driver should commit to avoiding all distractions and following the traffic laws, including the speed limit.
Because they are smaller and harder to notice, drivers have to be especially attentive when looking out for or driving around motorcycles.
But motorcycle awareness requires more than just attentive driving. Drivers also need to recognize that motorcycles operate differently than do cars. For example, motorcyclists may down shift to slow down, meaning their speed will decrease without brake lights.
Motorcyclists may also have to swerve or slow for obstacles in the road which could well escape the notice of the driver of a car. Drivers need to give motorcycles extra following distance.
It can also be hard to judge the speed and distance of a motorcycle when a car is stopped at an intersection. It is better to let any visible motorcycle pass through the intersection, even if a driver thinks they have time to do otherwise.
Unaware drivers can leave innocent motorcyclists dead or seriously injured. Victims may be able to recover compensation from these drivers in a legal case.