Motorcycles make up a mere 2.3% of all road users in South Africa. Therefore, it’s quite possible that as a driver you rarely think about motorcycles, let alone intentionally look for them.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Institute of SA, most Motorcycle Vehicle Crashes occur in Urban traffic conditions during peak hours (6-9 am & 3-6 pm).
This is a major problem!
We need to understand that “Every motorcycle carries a Life, or two.” Yes, this could be a mom, dad, sister or brother, aunt or uncle, husband or wife, grandfather or grandmother. It could very well be someone you know!
It starts with a decision to change the way you think before you will look through all the protective gear and helmet, to see the human being on the motorcycle. Yes, it is true that some of our own behave like pigs in mud, and that inconsiderate selfish road users exist on both sides of the fence.
How can I become more Aware of Motorcyclists?
- Respect: Remember that a motorcycle is a vehicle carrying life, and they all have the same privileges you have on the road.
- Look: Look for the motorcyclist at intersections, before turning and changing lanes. Drivers also must show extra caution at intersections. Most collisions occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns right in front of a motorcycle.
- Anticipate: Traffic, weather, and road conditions require a motorcyclist to react differently than a driver, thus it is more difficult for you to judge and to predict cues that may require the motorcyclist to take evasive action. Predict evasive actions.
- Space: Don’t follow a motorcycle too closely; intimidation can lead to a fatal collision. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.
- Count: Now here’s a cool game you can play while driving – start counting motorcycles. You’ll be surprised how they stand out by the time you get to the 5th motorcycle.
Why didn’t I see that Motorcycle?
- Drivers tend to look for other vehicles which are a whole lot more prominent than motorcycles.
- Because of its smaller profile and unpredictable travel pattern, their visibility is compromised and their risk factor at an extreme high.
- The driver’s view of the motorcyclist is obstructed, often by the vehicle’s blind spots or other vehicles, and other elements of nature that may hide the motorcycle from clear view.
- The driver is distracted by his/her mood, other occupants, mobile phones, and traffic conditions.
- Look or turn your head too quickly and you’ll miss vital details in the picture.