More motorcycles on the roads means drivers must become more vigilant

Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash

The weather is warming up in Louisiana, which means there are going to be more motorcycles on the roads. Unfortunately, this also means more accidents are going to occur. By law, motorcycles have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists on the road. Too many drivers of passenger cars and other vehicles, though, do not always provide bikers those rights. 

It is a real concern as the number of fatal motorcycle crashes is increasing. In 2017, 96 motorcycle operators were killed while out for a ride, an increase of nine percent from the prior year. 2017 also saw the highest number of motorcycle fatalities since 2009. That year, 101 bikers lost their lives due to accidents that were largely preventable. 

“It is a real concern,” says Joe Kopfler of Kopfler & Hermann, Attorneys at Law. “Motorcyclists should be able to hit the road without fearing for their lives. It is a right that other motorists enjoy, and bikers should have that same freedom. The only way to change the increasing number of fatalities is to change the behavior of the drivers that motorcycles share the road with.” 

One of the reasons for the increase in motorcycle accidents on roadways is that drivers are more distracted today than ever. With cellphones and so much technology built right into cars, it is turning the eyes of drivers inside their vehicle, instead of focusing on what is happening outside of it. Additionally, drivers do not fully understand the obstacles motorcycles face when they are out for a ride. Bringing awareness to this could also help reduce the number of deaths. 

Even a small obstacle or pothole could be deadly for a motorcyclist. Drivers do not realize this because it is just a small bump for them. Sometimes they do not even feel it. For a motorcycle operator though, these small obstacles could be enough for them to lose control of their bike. 

Consequently, drivers must ensure they are always providing motorcyclists with plenty of room. Keeping a safe distance from a biker allows them to stop suddenly in emergency situations and swerve to avoid debris and other impediments in the road. Drivers should also always check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning, and follow the basic safety rules of the road, such as signaling when making a turn. 

Following these safety instructions is the only way to keep everyone on the road safe, and reduce the number of fatalities.