It is no wonder why motorcycle and bicycle deaths spike in summer months. After all, these months typically provide the best weather for Arizona motorcycle and bicycle riders to enjoy the outdoors. With more bikes on the road, more accidents are bound to happen.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 60 percent of motorcycle accident deaths occur from May to September. Likewise, this agency claims more than half of bicycle deaths occur during those five months of the year. Most of these motorcycle and bicycle deaths occur when those vehicles collide with cars.
Some of the most dangerous days for riding your two-wheeled vehicle include holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. On these days there are historically more drunk drivers, drowsy drivers, tourists and others on the road than other days of summer.
Still, you can keep yourself safe for many years of bicycling or motorcycle riding ahead. The same is true for others on the road around you, who must avoid colliding with a bike. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some guidelines for safely sharing the road this summer include:
Your eyes provide your best resource for avoiding an accident, even with modern obstacle-detection technology in many cars today. Never rely on your car’s technology to avoid hitting people, bicycles, animals, motorcycles, obstacles in the road or other vehicles. Remain alert behind the wheel and check your blind spots regularly for smaller vehicles like the two-wheeled ones.
Always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, including bicycles and motorcycles. A slow bicycle rider may slow you down for a fraction of your day. But aggressively following them, trying to rush them or make them get out of your way only leads to problems, like fatal auto accidents. Allow three feet or more space between your car and a bicyclist, when you pass them on your side. Allow plenty of space between a rider and your front bumper, with at least four seconds of reaction time between you.
In summer, riding a motorcycle provides a sense of freedom on the open road. But cars present some of your biggest threats for injury or fatality. So take some steps to ensure you stay visible to drivers around you.
Stay predictable and visible. Wear your helmet and protective, bright clothing. Ride steadily and do not weave throughout traffic. Avoid sudden, sharp movements other drivers cannot react to quickly. Never expect other drivers to see you and always remain defensive in riding around other vehicles.
Drive slowly in traffic, as one third of riders involved in fatal motorcycle accidents in 2015 were speeding. You need plenty of time and space between you and vehicles around you, for your own reaction time when it counts.
Did you know that 64 percent more people ride their bicycle to work today, than did in 2000? This number is only growing, particularly in fair climates like Arizona. As a bicyclist, you need to take responsibility for your own safety and that of drivers around you.
Think like other vehicle drivers. Sharing the road with other vehicles means following the rules and expectations of other vehicles. Use the center of the lane if there is no bike lane. Always signal for your turns as a car does and avoid sudden movements that other drivers cannot predict or respond to quickly enough.
Wear appropriate safety gear. A helmet keeps your head safe, in the event of an accident. Remember that the most dangerous time of day for bicycling is 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wear bright colors and reflective gear so others can see you.
Pedestrians need to remain alert at all times. Do not walk in the roads with your earphones in or while talking on your phone. Distractions like these take away your ability to react appropriately to an incident on the road around you. Keep your eyes on traffic and use your ears to listen for potential problems. Make sure other drivers see you well, by wearing reflective and bright apparel.
Do not believe that drinking and walking around traffic is any safer than drinking and driving. Many people die from intoxicated walking, with 46 percent of all age 16 and older pedestrian-motor vehicle accident fatalities involving the walking person’s blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. Find a sober ride instead of walking home drunk.
If you experience a motorcycle, bicycle or other traffic accident, you need the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer. In Arizona, call the highly skilled experts of Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law at (602) 254-2701 for a free, no-obligation case consultation.
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