If the state's car drivers had their druthers, about one in four would have bikers banned from highways and parkways. And nearly half said bikers should not be allowed on roadways at all in inclement weather, according to the online survey of licensed Connecticut drivers, conducted by Directive Analytics for insurer Allstate.
Why the animosity? Because Connecticut car drivers consider motorcycles unsafe. Eighty percent of respondents thought motorcycles are more dangerous or much more dangerous than other vehicles. One in five, in fact, said they have come close to hitting a biker. Illustrating just how anti-motorcycle they are, 75 percent of drivers said they would not let their child ride one.
On the other side bikers overwhelmingly (80 percent) thought they were safer on the road than car drivers, stating that car drivers are careless and don't pay attention to what's going on around them. Bikers also found car drivers to be aggressive, trying to cut riders off, as well as impatient, tending to tailgate cyclists.
"Whether we prefer four wheels or two, we all have preconceived notions, and perhaps even strong opinions, about other drivers — but these opinions should never get the better of us while we are in our vehicles," said Andrea Short, Allstate field product manager. "Particularly now as the warmer weather approaches and heavy traffic re-emerges, all drivers should be careful and cognizant of fellow drivers at all times so we may share the roadways safely this spring season."
Regardless of opinions, fatal accident statistics are a grim reminder that all drivers must remain vigilant about safety. According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 117 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2006 — one every 12 minutes. Specifically, motorcycle rider fatalities have increased by 89 percent from 1997 to 2004 and fatalities continue to increase each year.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Bikers seem to take a 'do as I say, not as I do' position on riding. One in three of those polled who wouldn't want their child to ride a motorcycle are actually motorcycle riders themselves!
Furthermore, half of bikers actually think motorcycles are dangerous. Although most bikers consider themselves safer than car drivers, the survey found that about one in three never received training on how to ride a motorcycle safely.
"To ensure everyone keeps an eye on safety, we recommend that all drivers know the basics of sharing the road with motorcycles," said Short.
Additional Allstate Motorcycle Survey Findings
Driving Tips from Allstate and the NHTSA