It’s that time of year again. With longer days, warmer temperatures, and what seems like endless sunshine, more and more people are taking to the streets on bicycles and motorcycles. While it’s great to see people enjoying the summer outside of their cars, the increased number of bicyclists and motorcyclists on the road can sometimes create dangerous situations for motorists and cyclists alike.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 60 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes and 51 percent of fatal bicycle accidents in 2015 took place between the start of May and the end of September. The same source reports that most of those fatal incidents were the result of collisions with automobiles.

Given the rise of deadly incidents involving motorcyclists, bicyclists, and drivers during the summer, automotive authorities such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued guidelines to help everyone stay safe on the road. Here are some of those recommendations:

  • Use Your Eyes: Whether you drive a new BMW model or a pre-owned BMW car, your vehicle may have advanced equipment that can help you monitor the roadway. While this technology is extremely helpful, you still need to use your eyes to physically see what’s going on around your automobile. Pay special attention to your blind spots because motorcycles and bicycles are smaller than automobiles, which can make it hard to determine how fast they’re traveling.
  • Maintain a Safe Distance: Everyone at our BMW dealership near Bedford knows how frustrating it is to get stuck behind a cyclist who can’t even come close to the speed limit. While this can be irritating for vehicle operators, especially if you’re running late, it’s never a good idea to tailgate or pass a cyclist without ensuring it’s safe to do so. To keep everyone safe, increase your following time to at least four seconds when you’re behind anyone on two wheels. When you attempt to pass, be sure you maintain at least three feet of clear space between your car and the cyclist you’re passing.
  • Slow Down: Although it’s important for everyone on the road to mind the speed limit, it’s particularly important for people who operate motorcycles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 33 percent of motorcycle operators who were involved in a fatal crash in 2015 were speeding, a figure that’s higher than those for any other kind of vehicle on the road.

Another tip you can use to keep everyone safe this summer is to ensure your automobile is working properly. If it’s been a while since you brought your car in for some routine maintenance, contact BMW of Peabody to make a service appointment now.