Motorcycle Awareness

Approximately two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers of other vehicles. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than other vehicles, and drivers that do not have motorcycle awareness will not be on the lookout for motorcycles. Motorcycle usage is increasing, and having motorcycle awareness can save lives.

Motorcycle Awareness Campaigns

In recent years, there have been many campaigns to help increase motorcycle awareness. “Look twice, save a life,” is one of the most well known. There is also the standard “Watch for Motorcycles,” sign. These signs can be seen in most cities where motorcycle events take place. Motorcycle events bring tourists into cities. This can bring financial support to communities, but increases the risk of motorcycle accidents as drivers that are unfamiliar with the area come into town. Increasing motorcycle awareness through radio advertisements, signs, and television commercials can help remind drivers to be on the lookout for motorcycles, especially during local events.

There are organizations dedicated to increasing motorcycle awareness. Many of these organizations function through donations, and help to erect signs and fund ads which educate the public on the best ways to avoid motorcycle accidents. In some states, these organizations have helped to significantly reduce motorcycle accidents. In 2008, the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition was established by the Florida Department of Transportation to increase motorcycle awareness and reduce the likelihood of motorcycle accidents. From 2008 through 2011, Florida saw a ten percent reduction in the number of motorcycle crashes.

Distracted Driving Accidents

About forty-two percent of accidents involving a motorcycle and a car occur when a car or truck driver is making a left-hand turn. The motorcycle is often going straight through the intersection or trying to pass the car or truck, and the car or truck driver does not see the motorcycle. Although this type of accident is common for all vehicles, the small size of a motorcycle makes it even harder to see than other types of vehicles. The speed of a motorcycle may also be difficult to gauge, so drivers may make the critical error of thinking the turn will be completed before the motorcycle reaches the intersection.

Motorcycle accidents are common during lane splitting. Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle attempts to travel past other vehicles. This is common when there is an accident, as a motorcyclist will attempt to travel ahead of stalled traffic to stay out of harm’s way. Other vehicles are usually not looking for a motorcycle to travel past, and may open doors or begin to move to a different lane. When a traffic accident causes back-ups, drivers must be alert to avoid this type of accident.

Increasing Motorcycle Awareness

Drivers can practice motorcycle awareness by looking twice before making a turn, giving motorcyclists a full lane of traffic, and trying to anticipate motorcyclist’s maneuvers. Motorcyclists may need to swerve to avoid debris in the road or potholes, so drivers should be watchful for this type of action. Drivers should also give motorcyclists approximately a four second distance. This can be calculated by beginning a count when the motorcyclist passes a marker, and ending the count when the driver passes that same marker. If it takes less than four seconds, the driver should pass the motorcyclist or slow down. Increasing motorcycle awareness can make roadways safer for all vehicles.


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“Motorcycle Awareness.” Save a Biker Look Twice, Save a Life. Save a Biker, 27 March 2013. Web. 3 Oct 2013. <>.

“Motorcycles.” NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration., n.d. Web. 3 Oct 2013. <>.

“Motorcycle Statistics.” State of Florida Department of Transportation. State of Florida Department of Transportation, 02 Dec 2010. Web. 3 Oct 2013. <>.