It is more important than ever to look out for motorcycles. North Carolina has seen record numbers of visitors appear on bikes, looking to enjoy the natural beauty and legendary hospitality of the Tar Heel State.
Springtime has reached the Great Smoky Mountains and the beaches from the Outer Banks to Wilmington. That means one thing: more motorcycles on the road. Riders take advantage of North Carolina's many gorgeous byways once the weather becomes milder, and drivers need to be aware of the risks for striking them with cars or trucks.
Spring is here, the snows have melted and the Great Smoky Mountains look as inviting as ever to bikers who love winding roads. More motorcycles on the roads of North Carolina, however, can mean higher chances of a crash and serious injury -- especially on some of the far-flung roads in the Tar Heel State. Avoiding crashes can mean avoiding fatalities.
Between the irresistible roads through the Great Smoky Mountains and the long stretches of offshore highways, North Carolina is a great place to own and ride a motorcycle. Several people in the Tar Heel State, including members of the armed forces, use bikes as a primary way to get around. Since motorcycles provide little protection to riders, any collision can put them at risk.
Riding a motorcycle is a risky way of getting around, even if it is one of the most thrilling. North Carolina, from its long stretches of interstate highways to tight curving roads through mountain ranges, provides a lot of good scenery for long rides. But every mile on the road has the possibility of danger.
Motorcycles are very popular in North Carolina, as they provide riders with excellent views of the natural beauty in the state as well as speed and convenience in traffic jams around Charlotte and Raleigh. With the large number of bikes on the roads, drivers owe themselves and others to keep an eye out for the vehicles.
There are a lot of things, from weather to traffic, that can spoil a good day's ride. But nothing ends it like an accident. There are few types of motorcycle accidents from which a driver and passenger can walk away whole, so prevention matters even more than it does for car and truck drivers.
If you give a motorcycle a break by braking, you are doing more than offering courtesy. You may be saving a life. When a motorcycle is involved in a traffic accident, the bike's driver and any passengers are at far more risk for injury or death than the occupants of a car or truck.
Anyone who has seen a brick or piece of lumber lodged in a windshield has received a lesson in following too close behind an unsecured load. Heavy trucks and construction vehicles can cause road hazards, and drivers should always leave enough distance to stop before they are struck by them.
Accidental collisions with motorcycles are often disastrous but also understandable. Bikes have half the visible profile of cars and less protection for the person or people on it. A careless or distracted driver could be the end of a biker. However, not all motorcycle wrecks involve other vehicles.