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How other drivers can stay safe around motorcycles

Many drivers in the Evansville, Indiana, area have probably seen signs for campaigns designed to warn people to be on the look out for motorcyclists and "share the road." These signs offer good advice, of course, especially since a collision with another vehicle, or even a near miss, leaves a motorcyclist highly vulnerable to serious injuries.

What other drivers might wonder is what staying safe around a motorcycle looks like, as it involves some special considerations and precautions that one might not take, or take to a lesser degree, when encountering another full-sized car on the road.

The biggest thing motorists need to remember is to keep a lengthy following distance, some recommend four or so seconds, when traveling behind a motorcycle. A reasonably safe following distance is a good idea when tailing anyone on the road, but it is particularly important when it comes to motorcycles for two reasons.

First, a motorcyclist is much more likely to have to stop suddenly or quickly swerve, simply because what for a car might be a minor obstacle in the road is something a motorcyclist absolutely must avoid. Second, motorcyclists often do not brake, opting instead to downshift, which means they may give no visible warning of slowing down.

Along with following distance, other motorists need to check and double check all angles, including blind spots, when entering an intersection or changing lanes. Motorcycles are harder to see simply because they are so small, and they can, through no fault of the motorcyclist, easily wind up in a vehicle's blind spot undetected.

Drivers can use these and other tips to avoid motorcycle accidents. Drivers in Indiana should also remember that they have an obligation to be careful around motorcycles, and they may have to pay compensation to an injured motorcyclist if they fail in this important responsibility.

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