When you're on the twisting roads high up in the Great Smoky Mountains or Nantahala Forest, you can tell you're dealing with different circumstances that on I-95 or I-40. There are a lot of reasons this may be true, but they all matter to motorcycle safety.
Anyone who has been on a motorcycle knows that a split-second decision can be the difference between getting to your destination and getting into serious trouble. A pothole, a patch of loose gravel or a car's bumper can spell disaster for a biker because the slightest problem can lead to serious damage or personal trauma.
It's never easy to think straight during or after a stressful event, and there are few events more stressful than a road accident. This is especially true for motorcyclists, as any accident at any speed has the potential for injury or even death to the rider or any passengers.
Motorcycles are one of the most popular ways to get around North Carolina as we enter summer. Bikes are fun to ride and cooler for drivers in the high mountain air of the Great Smokies or the coastal plains near the Atlantic. But there are always risks when people hit the road, and the risks are greater for people on vehicles with no protection.
Nothing is more precious than your life, and nothing is more important to keeping it than your head. Although it is way more fun in some cases to tear around the roads of the Tar Heel State with nothing on your head, that is also a good way to fall victim to careless drivers, poor road conditions and other unseen hazards.
There are few thrills for a kid that compare with flying down the open road on a bike. In that way, many motorcyclists are like grown-up kids, enjoying the grown-up version of those incredible bicycle rides from their youth. Unfortunately, just like bicyclists, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to injuries and death when they're involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle of some kind.
There are obvious risks in life and there are hidden ones. The risks that are hard to spot are the ones that can keep us awake at night. It's hard to imagine having to wake up with the knowledge that one could have prevented a serious injury or a death, but that is often the case for a driver who has struck a motorcycle.
Motorcycles are as much a part of modern life in North Carolina as horses were part of its early history. Although plenty of people were injured or even killed in accidents related to horses in Tar Heel past, it is far more likely for a motorcycle crash to lead to serious trauma, permanent disability or death.
As more and more people in North Carolina and across the U.S. choose motorcycles as their primary means of transportation, the number of motorcycle crashes will go up. There are a number of dangers that riders must be aware of, especially those involving weather, road and traffic conditions. Reduced visibility at night is another danger, contributing to as much as 60% of all motorcycle crashes.
It is likely that North Carolina residents may soon have the experience of sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. Right now, autonomous vehicle companies are testing their vehicles on the road. They need their autonomous driving systems to be able to safely interact with numerous things on the road. This could include bicycles, pedestrians, other passenger cars, delivery vans and trucks, stray animals and motorcycles. The data that these companies are gathering now will prepare their autopilot systems to navigate the roads in the future.