Road Safety with Motorcycles- Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

As traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels across the country, motorists may find themselves sharing the road with more motorcycles. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) reports interest in motorcycling is growing strong, seeing a 37.2% increase in motorcycle and scooter sales in the first quarter of 2021. That was after an 11.4% increase for 2020. That increase in sales is translating into a decades-high demand for rider training for new and returning motorcyclists.

Newer motorcyclists on the roads coupled with motorists whose driving skills may be rusty after a year of decreased use is a dangerous mix. But even before the pandemic, the danger for motorcyclists was evident. Motorcycle riders or passengers are injured or killed on average every six minutes in the United States every day, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Even though motorcycles account for less than one percent of all vehicle miles in the U.S., they make up 14% of all traffic fatalities.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) wants to share the following safety tips and resources to help drivers and riders share the road safely.

Two main risks for accidents with motorcycles

More than half of motorcycle accidents occur because a car or truck driver simply did not see the motorcyclist, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This can be due to a motorcyclist driving in a larger vehicle's blind spot. Also, motorists often look for other cars and trucks but fail to notice motorcycles due to their size and nimble driving patterns.

The second leading cause of accidents with motorcycles involves left hand turns. More than 40% of all collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles occur at intersections when the car/truck driver makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle (NHTSA). Failure to see the motorcycle or failure to accurately judge the speed of the motorcycle are the two main causes of this type of crash.

Safety strategies for sharing the road

For cars and trucks

  • Give them room - create at least a four-second cushion between you and motorcycles riding ahead of you. They can stop much quicker than large vehicles. Also, provide ample room - at least four feet - when driving alongside a motorcycle
  • Watch the road - put down your phone and be attentive. Scan far ahead of your vehicle and check your mirrors every three to five seconds. Be on the lookout for motorcycles
  • Be cautious at intersections - slow down, use your turn signals, and check twice before passing through or turning at intersections. Be especially cautious when making left turns

For motorcycles

  • Wear your helmet - they saved an estimated 25,000 lives since 2002 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Be seen - avoid riding in another vehicle's blind spot, use your headlights, signal your lane changes and turns, and wear bright apparel to make it easy for other drivers to see you
  • Be prepared to brake - always be prepared for an emergency situation and use your rear brakes first when braking in an emergency situation
  • Provide space - give ample room to all other vehicles, including vehicles ahead of you so that you can see as far down the road as possible
  • Check mirrors frequently - including before you start a turn, a lane change, and at all intersections

We can all do our part to make sure the roads are safe for everyone on two, four, or more wheels. Click the button below to download our Road Safety with Motorcycles guide for more information and links to additional resources.

Safety Guide

PHLY agents and policyholders can access more risk reduction information, tools, and training from PHLY's Risk Management Services by logging into your MyPHLY account and selecting Risk Management Services.

Additional Resources

IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company in this E-Brochure is for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.

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