This month, we address the importance of using extra caution when a motorcycle is nearby, securing your vehicle to reduce theft and how to avoid “rear-end” accidents.

Motorcycle Accidents

An accident between a motorcycle and a motor vehicle usually results in a serious injury and is often fatal for the motorcyclist.

  • Motorcycles can be heard from a distance, warning you that one may be approaching.
  • Always anticipate an unsafe move by a motorcyclist. They often attempt to squeeze through a narrow space or make an unsafe move to avoid stopping for a red light.
  • Use EXTRA caution when roads are slippery, or when the weather is inclement as a motorcyclist’s vision will be impaired.
  • Don’t let unsafe acts by a motorcyclist trigger a road rage incident.
  • Let a motorcycle pass you, even if it is an unsafe passing.
  • Beware: Riders sometimes jump off their motorcycles in a different direction than the motorcycle is heading in the event of an accident.
  • Keep a safe distance from motorcycles on highways. They often travel at high speeds.
  • Never assume a motorcyclist will cooperate if you need to suddenly change lanes to respond to a street hail. Motorcyclists have many other things to focus on and may not realize what you are intending to do.
  • Always be courteous to motorcyclists.

Stay Safe and Secure

  • Always lock your vehicle and do not leave the engine running when you are visiting a restroom, gas station (to pay the cashier), picking up food, or any other location – even if your vehicle is within your line of sight.
  • When you return to your car, beware of thieves waiting for your return, so they rob you or carjack your vehicle.

Rear-End Collision Accidents

Rear-end collisions are generally caused by tailgating. Always maintain a safe following distance.

  • Add time and space to your following distance if you are tired, stressed, or the roads are slippery from ice or rain, or if the road was recently paved.
  • Use extra caution at deer crossings.
  • Always anticipate that a taxi may stop suddenly and without warning to respond to a street hail.
  • Don’t immediately proceed when a signal turns green. First, scan the area to be sure others are not making unsafe, last-minute turns in front of you.
  • Always be aware of surrounding vehicles. Do not become a victim of insurance fraud, where a vehicle in front of you stops for no apparent reason, and the vehicle next to you (conspiring with the vehicle in front of you) prevents you from taking evasive action.
  • Try to always maintain a clear lane on all sides when traveling on a highway.
  • Never text or use a cell phone while driving and beware of others who may be doing so. It could be the reason another driver is going so slowly.
Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

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