While more than 100,000 Kentuckians own registered motorcycles, more than a half a million own a car. It is possible that many individuals fall on both lists as both a motorist and a motorcyclist, but there is no doubt that cars outnumber motorcycles on Kentucky roads. That is one factor that could have contributed to Kentucky’s rank in the top ten most dangerous states for motorcycles in a recent study.
However, motorists can take action to help keep motorcyclists safe on the road. Here are a few tips that could help motorists change Kentucky’s rank.
1. Give them space
There are generally two ways that motorists can do this:
- When following a motorcycle: It is easy to give motorcycles space when you are behind them. You can increase your following distance by at least four seconds. You should also ensure you drive defensively and keep an eye on the motorcycle and other surrounding vehicles.
- When in front of a motorcycle: It is more of a challenge to ensure a motorcyclist has space when they are behind you. After all, that requires the motorcycle to keep their space too. Motorists can maintain that space when they are in front of motorcycles by using their signals often—which is also the next tip.
2. Signal your actions early
This is always critical, regardless of whether you are sharing the road with a motorcyclist or not. However, it is particularly helpful to signal both turns and lane changes earlier than usual if there is a motorcycle near you. This gives the motorcyclist plenty of time to react.
3. Check your blind spots—twice
As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, motorcyclists face two specific challenges on the road:
- Their smaller size
- Lower visibility because of their size
The combination of these two variables can make it incredibly difficult for motorists to see motorcyclists, especially when turning left or changing lanes on the highway. This only increases the chance of an accident, and the risk of a catastrophic injury for motorcyclists. Motorists can reduce that risk if they make it a habit to check their blind spots regularly and look twice before they proceed anywhere on the road.
These safe driving tips apply to all motorists. However, if Kentucky drivers adhere to these tips, it is possible that we can make the roads safer for everyone.