Motorcyclists have just as much right to be on California roads as do people in cars or trucks. Not only that, but drivers of other vehicles have a responsibility to look out for motorcyclists and to take reasonable precautions to avoid causing a motorcycle accident.
Even a rider who is wearing a helmet and other appropriate safety gear is not likely to walk away uninjured from a collision with a larger vehicle. Because motorcycle accident victims can suffer such serious consequences, including permanent injury and death, everyone on the road should do what they can to prevent motorcycle accidents.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, motorcycle unawareness, amongst other drivers, is a major contributor to motorcycle accidents. The reasons as to why drivers in other vehicles don’t notice motorcycles on the road are many. One simple reason is that motorcycles make up a relatively small portion of the overall traffic on the roads, and thus drivers are not as used to seeing them. Also, motorcycles are obviously smaller than cars and trucks, and just not as easy to spot.
Despite the varied reasons for motorcycle unawareness, drivers and motorcyclists can take steps to fight this problem. For drivers in other vehicles, the NHTSA primarily emphasizes the importance of education. The more that drivers are educated about their own driving tendencies and how to consistently be aware of motorcyclists on the road, the more likely they are to avoid a collision. Riders, of course, can do the same; the more that they understand the common weaknesses of drivers, the better prepared they can be for anticipating and avoiding dangerous situations.
Motorcycle unawareness is a deadly problem that can affect riders in Orange County and everywhere else in the country. But like most other dangers on the road, it is a preventable problem.
Source: NHTSA.gov, Motorist Awareness, accessed on Feb. 20, 2016