Motorcycle riders or passengers are injured or killed on average every six minutes in the United States every day, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Even though motorcycles account for 0.6% of all vehicle miles in the U.S., they make up 14% of all traffic fatalities. As a Commercial Auto insurance provider, Philadelphia Insurance Companies has shared some safety tips and resources to help drivers and riders share the road safely!

Two main risks

More than half of motorcycle accidents occur because a car or truck driver simply did not see the motorcyclist, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This can be due to a motorcyclist driving in a larger vehicle's blind spot. Also, motorists often look for other cars and trucks but fail to notice motorcycles due to their size and nimble driving patterns.

The second leading cause of accidents with motorcycles involves left hand turns. More than 40% of all collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles occur at intersections when the car/truck driver makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle (NHTSA). Failure to see the motorcycle or failure to accurately judge the speed of the motorcycle are the two main causes of this type of crash.

Safety strategies

For cars and trucks

  • Give them room - create at least a four-second cushion between you and motorcycles riding ahead of you. They can stop much quicker than large vehicles. Also, provide ample room - at least four feet - when driving alongside a motorcycle
  • Watch the road - put down your phone and be attentive. Scan far ahead of your vehicle and check your mirrors every three to five seconds. Be on the lookout for motorcycles
  • Be cautious at intersections - slow down, use your turn signals, and check twice before passing through or turning at intersections

For motorcycles

  • Wear your helmet - they saved 1,870 lives in 2017
  • Be seen - avoid riding in another vehicle's blind spot, use your headlights, signal your lane changes and turns, and wear bright apparel to make it easy for other drivers to see you
  • Be prepared to brake - always be prepared for an emergency situation and use your rear brakes first when braking in an emergency situation
  • Provide space - give ample room to all other vehicles, including vehicles ahead of you so that you can see as far down the road as possible
  • Check mirrors frequently - including before you start a turn, a lane change, and at all intersections

Article written by: Peter Kim

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