Motorcyclists name perceived threats, and they are you

Consumer Reports News: May 14, 2012 10:08 AM

Motorcyclists face a variety of dangers, but when it comes to the common practice of lane-splitting—the practice of riding between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic—riders feel most threatened by drivers not looking in their mirrors and distracted drivers, according to a recent survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

Both these concerns were reported by at least 30 percent of survey respondents. Other perceived threats rank far lower, such as cars changing lanes (10.1 percent), aggressive drivers (7.3 percent), and cars not signaling (2.3 percent).

The common theme is that motorcyclists fear inattentive drivers. Unstated, though implied, motorcycle visibility can improve safety in some scenarios. Having bright colors on the bike, riding gear, and helmet, along with running lights, can help drivers take notice and thereby be encouraged to share the road responsibly—something all travelers should do, especially during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

See our motorcycle and scooter buying advice to learn more about rider safety.

Tips to make the roads safer for cars and motorcycles
Survey reveals perceptions and dangers of motorcycle lane splitting
Guide to the 2012 motorcycles and scooters with ABS

Jeff Bartlett


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