When it comes to motorcycles, passenger car drivers have plenty of complaints. From the sound, how they share the road, and the stigma of how they drive. There’s no doubt about it, your everyday driver likely has a little bit of an aversion to motorcyclists. But, there a few common complaints bikers have for you too…
Common Complaints Bikers Have for Passenger Vehicle Drivers
Driver’s Who Don’t Use Their Turn Signals
One of the most common biker complaints is when driver’s don’t use their turn signals. By using your signals, you give a rider behind your or turning in front of you a heads up. Without it, they must gauge whether you are slowing down or not. Or the only warning they get, is when your brake lights come on right before you stop. This is especially dangerous for bikers because stopping on a dime can be quite difficult— much more difficult than for a passenger vehicle.
Poor Road Conditions
Another cause for biker complaints comes from poor road conditions. As you know when driving in your car, hitting a huge pothole is not fun. For larger vehicles, they can cause some alignment issues and may just be uncomfortable. Now, imagine hitting one on a motorcycle. First, they can be even more uncomfortable and can cause cosmetic and actual damage to your bike. But much more, they are dangerous for bikers. Any type of holes and debris can do a number on motorcycles. Therefore, poor road conditions can pose a huge threat to bikers.
Wiper Fluid Hits Them In the Face
Have you ever been traveling down the road and you have a huge bug hits your windshield. Rather than riding down the road with his guts in plain view, you spray your windshield and have the wipers take care of it. But as you get your window clean, a biker receives a nice wash down from all the fluid that you just washed off. As you can imagine, having a mysterious fluid whip you in the face randomly, is not a fun feeling. Likewise, a leftover cigarette butt that’s flies from the driver’s window and into your face isn’t fun either. These can act as distractions, and make it difficult for the biker to focus in on the road.
Squeezing Them Out
Finally, possibly the most important of common complaints bikers have is that drivers squeeze them out. For the most part, bikers should be making calculated moves when driving through traffic. If they weave through traffic or a stopped intersection, it’s normally for a safer purpose. So when you see them making these moves, and you move over to block them out, it’s frustrating. Yes, bikes are smaller. Yes, they can fit in spaces your vehicle will not be able to fit in. So allow them to do so, and avoid blocking them out. You never know what they’re seeing that you’re not.
These complaints may not mean a lot to car drivers, but bikers are drivers too; they are members of the road as well. So, cooperate. No driver is perfect, and they will make mistakes. But, part of being a good driver means making adjustments and being observant of other members of the roadway. So, drive safe, drive smart, and watch out for motorcyclists.
Whether you fail to yield on a blinking yellow, someone else fails to adhere to a stoplight, or you drift into oncoming traffic during the turn; left turn collisions are a pretty common occurrence on the roadway. Left turns are a bit less protected than, say, a right turn. Because of this, typically they are a bit more serious. Now, you add a motorcycle into the mix and they quickly become deadly. At any rate, drivers and riders are at an increased risk when a car overestimates just how much time and space they have to turn left.
Left Turn Collisions: Serious or Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Anyone who has driven on a busy roadway knows that it can be pretty difficult to execute a turn quickly in traffic. Whether you overestimate, don’t see a vehicle, or if they make an error… We may find ourselves in a hurry to get where we’re going. But, keep in mind that safety is of the upmost concern. Getting there safely is way more important than getting there quickly. Left turn collisions are typically some of the more serious accidents. So, taking a few more minutes to pick the right gap could save your life.
Left turns can be quick and easy, or extremely difficult
It seems that, more often than not, traffic goes one of two ways. Either you have a crystal clear roadway for turning. Or, traffic keeps coming at what seems like an unstoppable rate. Between traffic, and stoplights, sometimes you might start to feel like you’ll never turn. But, taking that chance and going for it a bit too quickly can be dangerous for every person on the roadway. Especially if a motorcycle happens to be the next vehicle in line.
Motorcyclists can only withstand so much impact before an accident becomes serious.
Ultimately, motorcyclists cannot control or predict the behavior of other drivers. While this remains the case for both drivers and riders, motorcycle accidents become serious a bit more quickly and frequently. So, watch where you’re going! Stay alert on the roadway, and don’t rush to make risky moves. Driving, even though we do it every day, is a dangerous thing. Sometimes we fail to remember that we are operating a potentially deadly weapon. Especially in reference to smaller vehicles on the roadway.
Whether a busy road or riding on an interstate, merging is not always an easy task. For motorcyclists, merging safely is a bit more difficult than it is for a passenger vehicle. The roadway is constantly changing, and for a motorcyclist, that split second of shifted focus can be potentially problematic. Bikers have to take extra caution in changing lanes because, well, many drivers have trouble seeing and accommodating for motorcycles. So, what can riders, and drivers, do to make sure the roadway is safe for everyone? Well, it starts with paying close attention to the drivers around you and keeping safe following distances. Accidents are always a possibility, however, many are preventable…
Merging Safely for Motorcyclists and how Drivers can Help
It starts with following distance
As riders and drivers, you each have a responsibility to maintain a proper following distance. Plenty of accidents can be prevented by allowing everyone space to make changes when need be. From unexpected stops, to crashes up ahead, to traffic, and roadway obstructions— being a safe driver starts with the knowledge that anything can happen.
No one wants to prepare for worst case scenario, but having that idea of ‘what if’ in the back of your mind is pretty important while driving. Riding closely to a tractor trailer? What if they brake suddenly? A motorcycle is coming from a right lane that is closing and you speed up? What if traffic locks up quickly as you speed to prove a point? You’re in a hurry so you weave through a pack of cars? What if a police officer is ahead? Or worse, what if you lose control and hit a guard rail? The possibilities for accident are always endless. So, consider them before you make a move that can be potentially reckless.
Be observant, courteous, and safe
Merging safely for motorcyclists takes a bit of effort from all sides. It is not anyone’s job to take care of others on the roadway but, sometimes, taking care of others equals taking care of yourself. If you see a motorcyclist signaling a lane change, give them space to do so. But, one of the most difficult parts for drivers, is the lowered visibility of motorcycles.
Many times in a motorcycle-related accident, the driver will say ‘they came out of nowhere’. While the statement isn’t entirely true, it isn’t entirely false. Motorcycles are small, sometimes shifty, and it can feel as if they just appeared out of the blue. So, check around you on a regular basis. Be proactive by checking your blind spots every now and then, look in your rear-view, listen to the sounds of the roadway. Doing so, might just save yours, or someone else’s life.
Accidents are always a possibility, and you knew getting onto that motorcycle that your defenses are down. So, while passenger vehicles should be more observant ant and mindful, it is up to you to drive responsibly. Merging quickly can be dangerous; speeding up to pass a vehicle can be dangerous; weaving in and out of traffic because you can is extremely dangerous. So, wear your proper gear, drive courteously, and find ways to make yourself known before making a move. We wish you luck, and a fun riding season!
It is not our job to compensate for other drivers on the road. However, it is our job to ensure our own safety and to do our part it being a good driver. Part of ensuring that safety, is keeping a maintained vehicle. When you have poorly maintained cars, parts malfunction and cause problems in the roadway. One set of motorists that are particularly affected, are motorcyclists. Adjusting to roadway conditions is difficult for everyone, but running over a rogue strip of tire has more implications for a motorcycle than it does a passenger vehicle. So, maintaining your vehicles ensures that you will not be at fault for an accident on part of someone else.
Poorly Maintained Cars: A Threat To Riders
Poorly maintained vehicles can sometimes just be an eye sore. But, that’s not the problem. The problem is that they create serious dangers on the road. For one example, a loose or dangling bumper is a danger. At any moment during a drive, an unsecured bumper could fall off in the middle of a road. If a driver has failed to properly maintain their car on the outside, this becomes a likely scenario. For any vehicle nearby, a bumper falling off can clearly cause a wreck. However, this can cause a wreck resulting in serious personal injuries for motorcyclists. Hitting a rogue bumper and bouncing back is a bit more difficult on two wheels than it is on four.
Well maintained cars not only look better, but are less of a liability.
At any rate, we must keep ourselves safe and spot poorly maintained vehicles. When riding, we must keep our distance from cars that show a lack of maintenance in case of issue. From insecure mufflers, to dents, and beat up hubcaps, any one of these things can become a serious problem. By spotting clues to lack of maintenance on cars, we can keep our distance, and be prepared for an issue to occur.
All in all, it is best to always maintain a safe driving distance from all vehicles. However, there is no telling what poorly maintained vehicles will throw into the equation. So, drive safe, be aware of changing road and car conditions, and do your part to keep your vehicle in working condition.
You can typically sense an oncoming work zone. Traffic slows, orange signs are everywhere, and the loud noise. Work zones are a part of driving, but they also can pose a threat to unsuspecting drivers. When it comes to motorcyclists? The threat can increase tenfold. Think about it, work zones typically feature chaotic traffic, impatient drivers, people dodging in and out of lanes, and frequent stops. Navigating this on four wheels is hard enough, but two?
Work Zones and Motorcycle Accidents
At any rate, work zones require us to drive at slower speeds and adjust to new traffic patterns. On one hand, if cars cooperate and drive safe, everything is fine. On the other hand, if cars drive unsafely, it can end in a serious accident. When construction is taking place on the road or on the shoulder, there are signs in place to alert drivers. For riders, there is a lot more to focus on and, overall, distracted drivers and riders cause an increase in accidents.
Take for example, a work site where vehicles on the road must merge into one lane. If a motorcycle is unable to merge because a car is driving aggressively, it could have serious consequences. Moreover, if a car tailgates a rider in a work zone, they could easily rear end a rider— and I don’t have to tell you that being rear-ended on a motorcycle is more serious. No doubt, everyone wants to arrive to their destination safely, but many times when traffic piles up— drivers lose focus and gain irritation. Overall, this leads to increased incidents.
Practicing Safe Driving in Traffic
No matter the case, we must slow down and be cooperative when lanes begin to cramp up. While we all want to get to our destination as soon as possible, sometimes, the objective should be getting there. Period. Every driver has a responsibility to be a safe and reliable member of the roadway. So, riders and drivers alike, practice safe following distances, don’t weave in and out of lanes, allow motorcyclists and passenger vehicles to merge when they are required to do so. It’s very easy to get frustrated in traffic, but keeping a clear head can be the difference between making it safely, or not making it at all. Stay safe out there!
No matter the vehicle you choose, there is always the possibility that you might become part of an accident. We can be alert, drive defensively, and ultimately, someone else might come along and mess it up for the rest of us. Many of these potential crashes will be small; an inconvenient fender bender. However, if you’re riding on a motorcycle— a fender bender can be cause for pretty serious injury. A motorcycle accident is almost always very serious, and there are plenty of reasons that they might occur. Whether it was no fault of their own, the result of a slow reaction time, or incorrect gear… You can’t prevent every accident. However, there are a few preventative measures you can take to make sure you’re as safe as possible.
Serious Injury in Motorcycle Accident: Common Causes
Lack of helmet
Depending on where you live, motorcycle helmet laws might not be fully intact. Therefore, maybe you think that you can skip it. While the law might allow for you to do so, the pavement is not so forgiving. Most riders, or their spouses, will insist on wearing some sort of protection; not doing so can have some pretty serious implications. If you are involved in an accident where you are thrown from the bike and land on your head— you will likely face some sort of injury, regardless of how protected you are. However, wearing no hemet at all has a very high chance of being fatal on this occasion.
The NCDOT has a statistic on new motorcycle drivers which essentially states that a driver within their first month is at the highest risk for crash and serious injury. Think about it: you haven’t had as much time to get familiar with the ways in which a motorcycle is different than a car. So, our advice to you is take it slow. You have a lifetime, now, to spend behind the handlebars of a bike. So, ease yourself into those long rides and heavy travel days.
Incorrect, or delayed, braking
Incorrect or untimely braking has been the cause of plenty of accidents. Not just for motorcycles, however, for motorcycles, the risk of injury is much higher than a small fender bender might be for a passenger vehicle. Take for example, a motorcycle is going over a hill and has low-visibility. They’re following a large passenger van closely, and as you both round the top of the hill— boom, there’s stopped traffic. You were following so closely that your bike is now crumpled and you’ve made strong contact with those back doors of the van.
Unforeseen road conditions
Road conditions can change at any time, especially if you live in a state that doesn’t focus so much on repairing those roadways. A rogue pot hole, rock, crack, or uneven pavement, can bring any one of us down at any time. However, those road conditions are pretty tough on motorcycles.
There is always risk…
…and you can’t let that stop you from enjoying your life. But, you can use it as motivation to be as safe as possible. Having your bike go down is unimaginable, and we don’t want this to ever happen. But in the event that it does, we don’t want you to go with it. So, drive safe, smart, and have fun!