By JoAnn Collins
Now that it is warm weather the greatest risk to all motorcyclists is the violation of their right-of-way by the driver of another vehicle.
Failure of motorists to recognize and detect motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents.
Why are Motorcycles Difficult to Detect? There is no clear answer but some have a number of theories:
1. Detection of the motorcyclist – People fail to detect a motorcycle in a traffic environment as they are smaller than other vehicles.
2. Misinformation – The driver sees a motorcycle then identifies it in the same class as bicycles or moped. So they are not viewed that the motorcycle as a threat to their safety as they have a harder time judging the speed of which it travels.
3. Human visual perception limits – People fail to attach meaningful relationships to what they observe. Their matching, comparing a motorcycle to a vehicle is often inaccurate.
– Most important is that the riders are responsible for their own safety and well-being in traffic. It it rider and co-riders responsibility.
– Appoximately 3/4 of all motorcycle accidents involve a motor vehicle.
– Motorists failing to yield the right of way are 2/3 of these accidents.
– Over 40 percent of all motorcycle accidents that occur at intersections are left turns.
– Motorcycles are often hidden in vehicle blind spots or missed in the quick looks due to their smaller size. So make sure you ride where you can be seen.
How To Be Seen:
– Lane Positioning – position yourself within a land to avoid the road hazards and create a space cushion between yourself and other traffic.
– Bright Colors – wearing brightly colored upper torso clothing, and if you wear a helmet use a light colored one. Retro reflective materials are on clothing, you can add to helmet and ODOT-colored vests and shirts help also when riding.
– Headlights – ride with high beams during the daytime and there are also modulators that pulses in headlights during daytime hours.
– Horn – don’t be afraid to use that horn to get attention when necessary. Remember most motorcyclists horns are not as loud as vehicles and in a high traffic area during summer hours, they may not hear due to windows up and air conditioning and music.
– Turn Signals – make sure you let others know what your intentions are by using your turn signals. You can combine hand with electric signals whenever its legal. Don’t forget the some bikes turn signals don’t go off automatically so cancel your signal when done.
I wish all the bikers out their a safe and fun ride and pray that the motorists will help us to enjoy the road by watching for the motorcycles. We are someones loved one so take care and beware of motorcycles — the life saved may be your friend.
JoAnn Collins is local resident and guest columnist.