Vehicles Look Twice Before Left Turn

The tragic news this week about Actor Treat Williams, who died after crashing his motorcycle into a car that turned left directly in front of him, reminds vehicle drivers to share the road and look twice before making a left turn.

In fact, the most common type of collision between cars and motorcycles is when there is a left turn at an intersection. Within these crashes, most of them happen when the car’s operator does not notice an oncoming motorcycle or notices the motorcycle but decides to make the turn anyway.

In the case of Treat Williams, the driver says he did not see the motorcycle. 

Ride to Work Day

Williams’ death reminds drivers to look twice and share the road and this Monday, June19th we’ll have the opportunity to put this advice to work when we see more motorcycles on the road than ever for National RIDE TO WORK DAY. 

Ride to work day is meant to demonstrate:
– The number of motorcyclists there are 
– Motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life
– Motorcyclists can reduce traffic congestion in large cities
– Motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation

Tips to Prevent Fatalities

From the Morotcycle Safety Foundation come these 10 Tips on how to share the road with motorcyclists.

1. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle – they ignore it (usually unintentionally).

2. Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.

3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.

4. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

5. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.

6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle’s turning signal is for real.

7. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle’s better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

8. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can’t always stop “on a dime.”

9. When a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle – see the person under the helmet, who could be your friend, neighbor, or relative.

10. If a driver crashes into a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian and causes serious injury, the driver would likely never forgive himself/herself.

Drive the Speed Limit, Slow Down at Intersections

Some final advice for everyone. All drivers have to be aware of the speed limit and observe it. It would be wise to drive slower than the speed limit at intersections so that car drivers can see motorcyclists and prepare for what to do. Slowing down at intersections also gives motorcyclists time to brake if a car driver decides to pull out in front of you at the last second. 

It’s the responsibility of everyone to share the road and arrive at our destinations alive. 

Speeding and Issues at Intersections? Contact Us! 

Speeding by both riders and drivers is one of the issues that can cause tragedy but photo enforcement can help change driver behavior. Interested in using automated enforcement in your community for speeding or even red light running? Contact Us: 888-666-4218, Ext. 6 for East Coast and Ext. 7 for West Coast.  We can also be reached at [email protected]