It is finally summertime and there are lots of motorcycles out there on the roads, along with a lot of bikes, recreational vehicles, campervans, and trailers. Although the roads are dry, there are still too many accidents that come with increased mixed use of the highways.
ICBC just released a useful summary regarding sharing the road and motorcycle safety. The link to the full version is here: http://www.icbc.com/news-releases/2012jun7-02/lower-mainland.pdf A useful and notable excerpt is as follow:
No. 4 – Follow safely: Leave at least three seconds of following distance when you’re behind a motorcycle since they have a much shorter stopping distance than other vehicles. When passing, allow plenty of space because your vehicle could splash dirt or water in the rider’s face and pose a serious hazard to the rider. Remember that a motorcycle needs the whole lane to travel safely – never try to occupy the space in the lane beside a motorcycle.
I wish there were a more thorough version available and there was more education on this topic. The article mentions one issue that all car drivers should be more aware of: that drivers must be more cautious making a left turn in front of a motorbike than they would a car (for example on an amber light), which is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. Bikes can’t stop as quickly as a car, and either swerve sideways to avoid the turning vehicle, or end up going over the handlebars.
The other great thing about summer is … parties! Many drivers have never thought about the limitations of bikes and motorcycles. We can all improve the world by spreading these tips on to people in our summer cocktail party conversations.