With the return of spring comes the return of warmer weather. Spring means more sunlight, more time outdoors, and long drives with the windows down. For motorcycle riders, this also means it’s time to take the bike back on the open road. This post explains steps everyone can take to share the road and minimize accidents.
According to a study published in 1981 by Professor Hugh Hurt at the University of Southern California, three-quarters of all motorcycle crashes involved other vehicles. In two-thirds of those crashes, the crash was caused by the other vehicle violating the motorcycle’s right-of-way. Drivers should maintain a larger following distance and take additional caution when driving near motorcycles.
Further, the study reported more facts to keep in mind to make the road safer for all:
- Use of helmets that met official specifications drastically reduced head injuries
- Auto drivers frequently did not see motorcyclists in time to react to them
- Many motorcyclists needed more training in learning to control skids
- Accidents occurred most frequently when a motorist made a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle
Motorcyclists should look for ways to improve their own safety. A simple step all motorcyclists can take to protect themselves in the case of a collision is to wear a helmet. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a motorcyclist without a helmet was 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal injury than one wearing a helmet. The skill level of a rider can drastically affect their ability to safely operate – much more than a car. In one study, they found that the vast majority of the crashes occurred on clear, dry days, with riders that had less than 6 months of riding experience.
Engineers on our team are trained to know what specific factors to look for when performing a motorcycle crash investigation; for example, the type of brakes the bike is equipped with can significantly affect how well the rider can control the bike in coming to a stop. We know what to look for on the bike to determine what type of brakes were used.
Next time you’re out taking a lazy Sunday drive, whether you’re on four wheels or two, keep these facts in mind to make the road safer for all. We’re all just trying to get from Point A to Point B and enjoy the drive.
Biomechanical Mechanical Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer