Drivers in New Mexico may be familiar with the so-called two second rule for determining how close one can safely follow another car. The way it works, a car’s front end should arrive at the same point where the preceding vehicle’s rear bumper was after at least two seconds. Otherwise, the person behind may be too close to safely stop.
When it comes to following motorcycles, it is especially important for drivers to observe the two-second rule. When traveling on the highways and interstates around Albuquerque, or at higher speeds generally, a motorist behind a motorcycle will want to give up to four seconds of following time.
As this blog has discussed previously, motorcycles do not work the same way as private passenger cars. Obviously, motorcycles are smaller and their occupants are more vulnerable to getting hurt in a motorcycle crash. Moreover, because they are smaller, motorcyclists have to pay more attention, and respond to, things like obstacles on the road, slick spots or even the wind. This means they may have to stop, slow down or swerve without a lot of warning to the people behind them.
Finally, motorcyclists tend to downshift rather than brake and a bike’s turn signals do not shut off automatically. In other words, a driver approaching from behind cannot rely on a motorcycle’s lights to give an accurate indication of what the motorcyclist intends to do.
Keeping a safe following distance behind a motorcycle is an important way in which drivers can ensure that the motorcyclist stays safe. If a driver does strike a motorcyclist from behind, then it is likely the motorcyclist will suffer serious injuries, assuming of course that he or she survives. Under these circumstances, the victim may be able to get compensation for their losses.