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May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. This month gives motorists an opportunity to develop better driving habits and be more aware of their surroundings in order to more fully protect the bikers with whom they share the open road. There are many simple tips that can keep drivers of cars and motorcycles safer—not just in Utah—but in all American states.

Most bike accidents happen because the driver of a car doesn’t see a nearby motorcyclist. Drivers should always remember to look for motorcycles before performing a driving maneuver. Also, they should consider a motorcyclist’s transportive needs and signal their intentions well before changing lanes, exiting or making a turn.

Motorcycle accidents most commonly occur during left turns, due to the fact that a car’s natural blindspot often prevents a driver from seeing a motorcyclist. Needless to say, if a larger vehicle is involved or the weather is less than favorable, checking for a blindspot is even more important. Even the smallest of collisions between a car and motorcycle can send a biker flying, seeing as how he or she is substantially lighter than a car.

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to give a motorcycle plenty of room on the road. Motorcyclists should be given a full lane as well as plenty of space in the front and rear, just like a car.

Awareness is the biggest factor in keeping roads in Utah safe for both drivers and bikers alike. Sharing the road is a responsibility that falls equally on the shoulders of all who drive on it and must be a conscious practice of all motorists.

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