Highway safety tip from DMV: Look twice for motorcycles
As Virginians prepare to travel the state’s scenic highways and byways following the winter months, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers two words of advice to help motorists avoid collisions and potentially fatal crashes with motorcyclists: Look twice.
Eighty-eight motorcyclists were killed and 629 seriously injured in crashes in Virginia in 2018. Sixty-seven percent of the fatal crashes involved another vehicle. Motorcyclists, and other vulnerable road users such as bicyclists and pedestrians, are more susceptible to crashes, injuries and fatalities because they are much smaller than and lack the protections of larger vehicles with which they share the road.
“Motorcycles may look farther away than they actually are, and it can be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Car drivers should take an extra moment and look twice for motorcycles when changing lanes, turning at intersections, pulling out of driveways or pulling into traffic.”
Motorists should allow for extra following distance behind motorcycles because riders often slow down by downshifting or coasting, which means the brake lights aren’t always activated. Conversely, when a motorcycle is behind a car, its narrow profile can cause it to be hidden in a car’s blind spot. “Looking twice for motorcycles is so easy, yet so important to ensure the safety of everyone who is sharing the road,” Commissioner Holcomb said. “That extra glance will protect the lives of yourself, your loved ones and the motorcyclist.”
For more information about motorcycle safety, visit tzdva.org.