This month we covered a story about the rising number of motorcycle accidents and motorcycle fatalities in Wilson County, North Carolina. Although the 24 accidents that have taken place in just the last seven months may have a lot to do with the rising number of bikes on the road, North Carolina Highway Patrolman T. Futrell also spoke about how car and truck drivers can decrease accident rates by being more aware of motorcycles on the road.

First, he spoke about how the small size of motorcycles makes them appear farther away than a driver may think.

"The depth perception is different when you are following a motorcycle," he said. "When you see one, it is actually a little closer than you think."

He also talked about how important it is to keep a safe following distance - much increased from when you are following a larger vehicle. He also notes that when motorcycles are rear-ended, the consequences are much more serious - and sometimes fatal - with a motorcycle, whereas car rear-ending accidents are often no more than fender-benders.

"The safe following distance for vehicles is one car-length for every 10 mph you are traveling. With a motorcycle or scooter, I think it is safer to have at least a car length and a half between you and a motorcycle or scooter."

As always, the most important rule you can follow is to drive defensively.
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