Distracted driving poses a major threat to motorists on the road as well as an extreme hazard for motorcyclists. While occupants of a passenger vehicle enjoy the protection of an enclosed space, motorcycle riders do not have that kind of shielding. They are prone to serious and sometimes fatal injuries if they are involved in accidents resulted from distracted drivers. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) once conducted a landmark research study. Their finding concluded that the most commonly occurring cause of all motorcycle crashes and near crashes was indeed driver inattention. Use of cellphones happens to be the main source of distraction for drivers. Each year, hundreds of motorcycle riders die as a result motorists sending text messages while driving.
Most crashes that occur between vehicles and motorcycles are triggered by drivers who do not recognize the motorcycles presence while navigating through traffic. Motorcycles happen to possess a smaller profile when compared to other passenger vehicles. Often, drivers fail to recognize the fact that motorcycles are also sharing the same highway or road. In the research study mentioned above, two-thirds of these accidents occur when the vehicles driver violates the motorcycle riders right of way. A predominant cause of such accidents is the failure by car drivers to recognize motorcyclists on the road. Another frequently occurring accident pattern is when a motorcycle is moving straight ahead only for a car to turn left onto its path. This configuration is made even worse by drivers getting distracted by actions such as texting or talking on a cellphone. Consequently, they become less aware of any motorcycles on the road.
A cellphone probably makes a drivers life much easier in many ways. Despite it being a handy tool for someones day-to-day life, it can easily cause an individual to be distracted irrespective of what they are currently doing. When a person is behind the wheels of a vehicle, those split seconds of distraction can mean the difference between other road users. Despite a growing awareness and legislations getting passed, distracted driving is still quite rampant. In 2007, the state of Washington became the first to outlaw texting while driving. Within ten years, the District of Columbia and 45 other states also took this step. Numerous campaigns aimed at public awareness have been launched in an effort to curtail texting and driving. However, in spite of all these efforts, the habit is still commonplace. Thousands of people stills talk or text on their cellphones while behind the wheel. Distracted driving poses a danger to everyone who shares the highway with the distracted driver. It is especially dangerous to motorcycle riders.
Motorists are encouraged to be extra vigilant and be on the lookout for motorcyclists. Those riding motorcycles are not enclosed within a vehicle or truck, and do not enjoy the benefits associated with airbags.
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