Navigating a busy intersection can feel overwhelming to any driver, especially those who are more exposed like motorcyclists. Intersections create a hazardous environment where multiple motorists must properly execute the right-of-way laws at the same time. Impatience and confusion increase the danger.
There are a few elements that increase intersection risks for motorcyclists.
Motorcycles have a smaller profile
When drivers scan the intersection for clearance to proceed, they often focus on the visible cars, trucks and vehicles with larger visible profiles. The smaller size and profile of a motorcycle make it easy to miss when scanning intersection traffic quickly. As a result, a motorist may pull into the intersection and cause a collision with a motorcycle because they overlooked it.
Intersections increase distractions
Drivers check cell phones, respond to text messages or converse with others in the car when they stop at an intersection. This creates a distracted environment where a driver might make an impulsive or inattentive decision to proceed into the intersection without adequate clearance. While the driver might see another motorist in the intersection at the last minute, motorcycles are easier to miss, creating an increased hazard for motorcyclists.
Roadway damage is common in intersections
Since intersections see significant traffic volume, roadway deterioration happens more rapidly. As a result, intersections often have potholes, loose gravel and cracks that pose a safety risk for motorcycles. Cars may pass over the damage without incident, but motorcycles are more vulnerable to damage and accidents, especially from potholes and any loose gravel making the roadway slippery.
Motorcyclists must exercise an abundance of caution at intersections for their own safety.