Sharing the road with motorcyclists
Motorcyclists account for just one per cent of road users, but they’re grossly over-represented in casualty statistics, making up 19% of all road user deaths*. But they, like every other road user, all set off with the intention of arriving safely at their destination, and, according to GEM chief executive David Williams MBE, there are ways we drivers can help them stay safe.
“You may think that motorcyclists can look after themselves because they’re manoeuvrable and can change lanes quickly and easily. However, they are at greater risk for a number of reasons, including other road users not being aware of them, or not appreciating their ability to accelerate rapidly.”
“By ‘thinking bike’ on every journey, and by committing to a courteous driving style at all times, we will play our part in making the roads safer – for ourselves and for motorcyclists, who are 75 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in collisions than car drivers.”
GEM offers five simple tips to promote safety for drivers and motorcyclists:
• Remember above all that everyone on the road is trying to get somewhere safely, even if it doesn’t always seem that way. So maintain a defensive attitude, avoid conflict and competition.
• Good observation is key, especially at junctions. Take more time to look for motorcyclists when you’re approaching a junction or pulling out onto a busy main road. After all, motorcyclists can be much harder to see.
• Check your blind spot before moving lane. Motorcyclists move faster than you might expect, so it’s always good to double-check.
• If there’s a motorcyclist behind you, anticipate that he or she will probably want to overtake. Make the manoeuvre as easy and safe as possible by moving slightly to the nearside. This tells riders you’ve seen them and you want to help them stay safe.
• Think bike even after your journey has ended. Just check it’s safe to open your door and that you won’t be putting an approaching rider at risk.
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* Source: http://think.direct.gov.uk/motorcycles.html