Save a life, look twice. Watch for motorcycles

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

As the weather warms, motorists will notice more and more people riding motorcycles.
While these modes of transportation are enjoyable, especially when the weather is favorable, they come with a certain level of risk. Since they are smaller than a typical four-wheeled vehicle, they are harder to see. This means motorcycle operators are at risk of other vehicles pulling out in front of them, leading to an accident that can injure the rider, or worse.
Tuesday evening there was an accident in Poplarville involving a Jeep and a motorcycle. Fortunately the rider was not fatally injured, but he did have to undergo surgery for the injuries he sustained.
Motorcycle riders are advised of the dangers associated with the hobby when taking their endorsement test, and told that the best course of action to avoid an accident is to drive defensively and have an exit plan should a vehicle pull out in front of them.
However, sometimes an exit strategy won’t help when approaching an intersection. It could be that the scenario happens too fast to plan a route that would allow the rider to avoid impacting the other vehicle.
There are some things motorcycle riders can do to make themselves more visible, and therefore more likely to avoid being involved in an accident.
Wearing reflective clothing can help make riders more visible at night. During the day, try to choose clothing that is easy to see, such as those with florescent colors.
Most modern motorcycles automatically turn on the headlight when the engine is started, but if your model does not, be sure to turn it on manually. The proper safety gear should also be worn, such as a protective jacket, helmet and the proper footwear.
Drivers of four-wheeled vehicles can do their part by looking twice before changing lanes or pulling out into intersections. Some riders may be wearing dark clothing, making them even harder to see.
As the campaign goes, “Look twice safe a life. Motorcycles are everywhere.”

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