How to Share the Road with Nearby Motorcyclists Safely
Have you noticed more motorcycles on the roads than usual lately? As motorcycling becomes the choice of transportation for many motorists over the next few months, it’s crucial for drivers to stay alert so everyone can reach their destinations safely. Here are a few safety tips for driving near motorcycles that every driver should be aware of.
Watch Carefully for Motorcycles in Blind Spots and at Intersections
Seeing a motorcycle approaching isn’t as easy as seeing a vehicle driving towards you. Unfortunately, the majority of accidents involving motorcycles are due to the motorcyclist crashing into a vehicle that didn’t see the motorcycle approaching. Whenever you plan on changing lanes or crossing intersections, it’s important to watch carefully for motorcycles. When changing lanes, check your blind spot and turn on your blinker before moving over. At intersections, check both ways a second time before cautiously proceeding forward.
Give Plenty of Space When Following a Motorcycle
While it’s known to give plenty of space when following another vehicle, it may not be commonly known that you should increase the amount of space given for a motorcycle. Motorcycles, due to their smaller structure and lighter weight, have the ability to stop far quicker than a vehicle would. Therefore, if a motorcycle must stop quickly and the vehicle behind them isn’t giving extra room, there is a risk of that vehicle colliding with the rider. Additionally, some motorcyclists downshift or let go of the throttle to slow down. Since the brake lights don’t activate in this scenario, it’s important to give yourself more time to react and adapt to that motorcycle’s new speed.
Do Not Attempt to Share a Lane with a Motorcycle
Although motorcycles are small, they are entitled to the entire lane just as a car or semi-truck is. As you drive, you may see motorcycles move throughout the lane. This is for their safety as they are avoiding debris in the road and compensating for changes in wind. Not only is it dangerous to try to share the lane with a motorcycle, but it is also illegal in most of the U.S. If a motorcyclist decides to share the lane, it is usually another motorcyclist, and the two riders typically know one another.
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