Summertime and Motorcycle Accidents

As the weather heats up, motorcycles take to the roads in greater numbers. Thousands of motorcyclists will be riding Nebraska streets, roads and highways. Nebraska law demands that motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as car and truck drivers.http://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=60-6,306

All drivers must be on the lookout for motorcycles. When motorcycles are involved in crashes, no matter who is at fault, motorcyclists are more likely to be injured or killed because the riders lack the protection of a closed vehicle.

The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that per mile traveled in 2012, the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times higher than in cars. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812035.pdf

I have yet to depose or question a car/truck driver who was issued a ticket for causing an accident with a motorcycle that didn't have the same answer "I never saw him/her."

Here are a few simple ways of avoiding crashes with motorcyclists:

Take longer to look for bikes: Look carefully and look longer for motorcycles when you pull out from an intersection, driveway or parking lot. Motorcycles are smaller. They present a different sight picture than a car. Look longer and more carefully.

Look for motorcycles when changing lanes: A motorcyclist may already be in or moving into the space where you want to go, so look over your shoulder as well as checking your mirrors. Then, check again. Blind spots are real. Motorcycles can be easily lost in a blind spot.

Check for motorcycles when turning: Parked cars and signage can obstruct your view of a motorcycle. Make sure you have a clear view of an intersection before making your turn.

Keep your distance: Driving too close to a motorcycle can intimidate a less experienced motorcyclist and eliminate your ability to react to sudden stops or turns.

Park safely: Check for motorcyclists before opening your car door - and ensure that your passengers do the same. When you pull away, remember to look specifically for motorcyclists as they can accelerate faster than cars.

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