Recent reports indicate that auto driver and passenger fatalities are going down. That can be attributed in part to the advances in safety design and features offered on new cars. The same cannot be said of motorcycle fatalities, which experienced an increase of five percent in 2016 when U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics were published.
Top reasons for car versus motorcycle crashes continue to be distracted drivers and failure to yield right of way in intersections. Speeding is a factor in many crashes and both car driver and cyclist are at fault for this.
What steps can reduce crashes? All vehicle operators need to be aware of blind spots. If you cannot see the face of the other driver in your mirror, he cannot see you.
Both car drivers and cyclists follow too close to the vehicle in front of them. Give a little extra space to have more braking or reaction time to lane changing or turning vehicles.
If you are driving a car, remember to look, and look again, at intersections, especially if making a left turn.
According to a U.S.A. Today article written by Chris Woodyard, pedestrian fatalities in 2018 rose four percent and bicycle deaths climbed by 10 percent. There was no mention in the article about motorcycle fatality statistics. The article focused on new technology advances for cars, most notably auto-braking systems. A small number of automakers have improved pedestrian and bicycle detection systems, linked to auto-braking, at an additional cost to the car. In 2020, these systems need to be standard equipment in order to earn the insurance industry’s Top Safety Pick Plus status. Some companies, like Volvo, have already implemented some changes to improve auto-detection. It moved the sensor to detection from the grille to inside the windshield to protect the sensor from weather, like rain or snow. Kia has a blind-spot detector incorporated in its side view mirrors. If a vehicle enters a blind spot, an icon lights in the appropriate mirror. In addition, if the car driver initiates the turn signal when something is in the blind spot, an audible signal will also warn of the danger.
We hope these advances aimed at reducing crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists will work for the faster, bigger motorcycles they might encounter, although no mention of motorcycles is in the article.