For many motorcycle riders, there is nothing as thrilling as riding on the open road. However, with this excitement comes many risks, such as safety. As drivers, it is our responsibility to not only share the road with motorcycle riders but also to take proactive measures to increase their safety on the road.
Inattentive drivers cause most motorcycle accidents. In addition to being aware that a motorcycle rider may be near your vehicle, here are four additional tips to remember when sharing the road with motorcycles.
1. Be aware of motorcyclists during warmer months
Motorcycles driving | Getty Images
According to Erie Insurance, the warmer months are when most motorcycle riders hit the road in the sunshine without weather constraints, such as strong winds and rain. Such awareness can help you practice more caution on the road during these times.
Intersections are the most dangerous spots for motorists on the road. That said, they pose the greatest risks for motorcyclists. With this in mind, you should obey all traffic rules at intersections.
2. Check your blind spots twice
Failing to check blind spots is probably the leading cause of motorcycles and vehicles accidents. Given motorcycles small size, they can be challenging for drivers to spot when changing lanes or merging. In light of this, you should be aware of and check your blind spots, especially when bikes are present.
Many new vehicle models use technology to monitor blind spots. The monitoring system will signal to let you know something is in your blind spots. However, never rely on technology alone to monitor your blind spots. Don’t forget to use your car mirrors and windows also to check your surroundings.
3. Don’t get too close
It would be best if you gave motorcycles a lot of space on the road, especially when approaching them from behind. This will offer you sufficient time to react in case something unexpected happens. As Driving Tests explains, a motorcycle rider may not apply brakes immediately when slowing down, so do not assume you’ll see brake lights. Rear-ending the motorcycle can be life-threatening for the rider, especially if you are driving a large vehicle.
It would help if you also took extra caution when passing a motorcycle. Passing the rider at high speeds may leave a gust of wind, which can make the rider unstable or blow them off the road. Always use your left turn signal to let a motorcyclist know you want to pass them, maintaining a safe distance before returning to your lane.
Motorcycle riders do not enjoy the same safety standards as automobile drivers, such as seatbelts and airbags. Therefore, giving riders as much space as possible is very vital. It is best to leave a 3-second following distance at the minimum in high traffic areas and at least a 4-second following distance on the freeways.
4. Stay in your lane
Motorcycles are legally entitled to make full use of one lane of traffic and have equal rights on the roadway as other vehicles. Under no circumstance are you allowed to drive your car in the same lane as a motorcycle.
Notwithstanding how small your vehicle is or how much additional room there appears to be, never veer over to share a single lane with a motorcycle. Doing this is not only illegal, but it is also a recipe for disaster. It’s important to everyone’s safety that you adjust your driving behavior to accommodate motorcycles.