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Spring is coming, so drivers need to watch out for motorcyclists

The official first day of spring will not arrive for another couple of weeks. Just the same, the weather starts to warm up in the Reno area in March and April, and that means that more motorcyclists in the area will be pulling their bikes out of their garages for a ride.

For drivers of other vehicles, this is a great time for a reminder that, as they travel along Nevada’s roads and highways, they need to be on the alert for motorcyclists. If they are not, they can cause serious motorcycle accidents that are relatively likely to leave the motorcyclist seriously injured or even dead.

According to recent research, drivers of other vehicles still need to be a better job of training themselves to be on the lookout for motorcyclists. In most cases, collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles happen because the driver of the other vehicle interferes with the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.

Motorcycles are naturally smaller and, thus, are easy to lose in a larger vehicle’s blind spots. Moreover, motorcyclists have to handle their vehicles differently than do the drivers of other vehicles. Many times, drivers just are not preparing for these differences when traveling behind or near a motorcycle. The ongoing problem in this country with distracted driving certainly is not helping matters in this respect.

Motorcyclists experience more than their share of fatal accidents. Although motorcycles account for less than 5 percent, or 1 in 20, of all vehicles registered in the country, as of 2016, motorcyclists accounted for 13 percent of all traffic-related deaths. It is imperative that drivers of other vehicles stay especially on alert for motorcyclists and take the appropriate steps to prevent accidents. If they fail to do so and cause an accident, they can be held financially accountable.

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