5 Ways to Keep Michigan Roads Safer for Motorcyclists
Michigan is full of beautiful, open roads great for an afternoon ride. According to MDOT there were 249,587 registered motorcycles in Michigan in 2017 (and 44,017 mopeds to make sure everyone feels included) In 2016 alone there were 5,286 fatalities – the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008) according to USDOT statistics
So what are some things we can all do to make our roads safer for bikers?
1.) Blind spots:
Always make sure to double check your blind spots before merging lanes and USE THAT BLINKER and be aware of theirs (**make sure to check your blinker fluid each month**) Also note that your rear view mirrors may not completely show you what is behind you. Make sure to look around at all of your surroundings before merging.
2.) Understanding biker's driving habits:
Ever have a biker pull up next to you at a stoplight? This is called filtering and there is a good reason for it. A high percentage of motorcycle fatalities are a result of the biker being rear-ended. Due to their size, some people fail to properly judge stopping distance when approaching a motorcycle, or in some cases, they just don't see them at all. Being next to another car in lane helps keep them safe from this potential traffic hazard.
3.) Don't Litter:
We are probably all guilty of tossing a napkin or a wrapper out of the window at some point, but each small piece of garbage can be a huge danger to a motorcyclist. Trash in the road can cause a biker to lose control of their vehicle from either trying to avoid it or by their tires losing traction after running it over if unavoidable.
4.) Grass Trimmings:
If you are in the habit of dumping your grass clippings on the side of the road, you are creating a very dangerous hazard for bikers. Grass clippings can blow into the road and bikes, having less traction on the road than cars, will easily crash when hitting even a small pile of grass or leaves.
5.) Opening your Door:
Too many accidents with motorcycles are caused by a biker hitting a car door which has just flung open in front of them. It sounds like something from a sitcom, but it is a very dangerous traffic hazard for bikers as it's almost impossible for them to avoid safely.