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Know your motorcycle risks at the beginning of biker season

Some seasoned motorcyclists ride their bikes throughout the year, but for most bikers in North Carolina and other states that experience harsh winters, motorcycles rarely come out of the garage until after the weather warms up. You may feel excited to uncover your ride and enjoy the open road, but you should understand the many motorcycle dangers that can await you at the beginning of the warm season.

Your greatest danger comes from other drivers, as you may already be aware. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than larger vehicles, in addition to being faster and having the ability to swerve in and out of traffic. Consequently, drivers may not see motorcycles sharing the road with them, especially at the beginning of the season, when they are not used to seeing two-wheeled vehicles on the roads. Some common motorcycle hazards from other drivers you may encounter include the following:

  • Drivers failing to look in their rearview mirror or blind spots before changing lanes or turning
  • A driver misjudging an approaching motorcycle’s speed or distance and entering the roadway in front of it
  • Drivers not understanding how easily motorcyclists can lose control of their bikes
  • A driver not respecting a motorcyclist’s need for space
  • Someone parked at the shoulder who opens the driver’s side door as a motorcycle is approaching

The National Safety Council reported 5,172 fatalities involving motorcyclists and their passengers across the United States in 2017, accounting for 14% of all fatal crashes that year. May was designated as Motorcycle Safety Month to bring awareness of the dangers motorcyclists face to bikers and drivers alike. Hopefully, efforts such as this throughout the year will help keep you and your fellow motorcyclists from suffering serious or fatal injuries while you are on your motorcycle.

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