Motorcycles can be difficult to notice at times and drivers may not be looking for them. They can squeeze in between cars and change lanes faster. One minute they are nowhere to be seen the next they are right beside you especially in slow moving city traffic. At times motorists may be annoyed with them but recent statistical data shows that you need to be extra careful to see them coming.
There are many misconceptions about motorcyclists. They are portrayed as daredevils in movies and one or two of them may pull stupid stunts on the roads. However, there is a person just like you behind that helmet. They are generally folks who are trying to get to work or make a living from it. Don’t you ever forget that!
What Do Statistics and Researches Say?
Recent researches and statistical data commissioned and gathered by THINK! have some serious revelations. According to surveys motorists believe that most of accidents happen because bikers break speed limits and ride dangerously. According to statistics, half of the car and motorcycle crashes happen at junctions. And the most common cause is the drivers failing to look properly.
The UK Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill says; “Every day more than 30 riders die or are injured in accidents at road junctions. Often, though not always, this is because a driver has pulled out in front of a rider.” He reveals that more than two people die this way every week in the UK. He continues; “If everybody took a bit more care at junctions we could bring this figure down significantly.”
Riders are much more vulnerable, according to figures released by THINK! Only 1% of traffic on the roads is made up of motorcyclists but 19% of all fatalities. They are 55 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in accidents.
What to Do to Prevent these Deaths and Injuries
Accidents are generally caused by more than one mistake or momentary lapse in concentration. Everyone involved may have a hand in it although it may be in varying degrees. Therefore, both have to take extra care and watch out for possible dangers. Here are some of the suggestions as to what can be done for safer roads.
- Motorists should forget about stereotyping of cyclists and see them as humans. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons or daughters. Also, they are much more likely to lose their lives in an crash. Furthermore, they have the right to be there as much as anyone else. Watch out for them, allow space and let them pass or give enough space while you are passing.
- Both parties should take extra care, especially at junctions. People should remember to look for each other. You should take extra care when you are changing lanes and pulling out of lane. Remember to look at mirrors once more and check your blind spots with eyes.
- Motorcycle, moped and scooter riders should take the time to pass license tests. In some cases, people may be able to legally ride them as long as they display a learner plate. But, they should go through proper training and pass the tests. They should also take further training to learn how to be defensive. It may be the mistake of a motorist but it is your life. If you are serious about it you should learn what the common mistakes made by other road users and watch out for them. Being defensive saves lives.
- Never ride without a proper helmet and protection gear. Chances of survival is greatly increased if a helmet is worn. If you don’t, even a small accident can be deadly with head and neck injuries. You should also make sure that the helmet meets safety standards to protect you properly. It is one area well worth investing.
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