In a world of GPS and self-driving cars, automation is becoming a larger part of our lives every day. Add that to the numerous ways we can become distracted, and we see how easy it is to forget the shared responsibilities of the road. A relaxing drive on Virginia roads can turn into a nightmare if we are not careful.

Every year, thousands of motorcyclists die from traffic accidents – to be specific, there were nearly 5,000 fatal crashes in 2018. But these statistics do not have to remain that way. By taking a few simple steps to increase awareness and caution, we may create a safer road for everyone:

  • Be cautious and patient at intersections. There are times when motorcyclists cannot see due to obstruction from other vehicles or road construction. Take an additional moment or two to check blind spots and mirrors before moving.
  • Know your vehicle. If you are unaware of your blind spots—a likely case for people with new vehicles—take some time to become familiar with them. Once you have a grasp on these spots, take note of how you can compensate for them by using extra caution in areas where the road may be narrower like alleyways or construction zones.
  • Understand that motorcycles operate differently. There are times when motorcyclists need to weave through traffic to avoid hazardous congestion and blind spots; just another reason to use extra caution and keep an eye out. Furthermore, note that motorcyclists often roll to a stop or downshift rather than immediately hitting their brakes.

The road is for everyone. Knowing how best to share it will help prevent catastrophic wrecks that have the potential to change a life forever.