Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 5,500 fatalities of motorcyclists in 2020. As the weather gets warmer and more motorcycles take to the streets, it’s important for both motorists and motorcyclists to know how to share the road.
7 Tips for Sharing the Road
1. Have a Safe Following Distance
Unlike a car, motorcyclists do not have a protective barrier while driving. If a vehicle follows too closely, they risk hitting the motorcyclist if they had to stop quickly, causing severe injuries and potential fatality.
2. Double-check Blind Spots
When merging or changing lanes, double-check your blind spots. Motorcycles tend to be more challenging to see in a car’s mirrors.
3. Watch for Weather Changes
Rain and wind can decrease motorcyclists’ control while riding. During these conditions, also be aware of motorcycles sitting under bridges to avoid the weather.
4. Pay Attention in Traffic
Motorcycles have a more difficult time starting and stopping during a traffic jam, which may increase the chances of them riding between cars (lane splitting) to avoid this.
5. Use Your Turn Signal
If a motorcyclist is riding behind you, indicate when you are going to turn further in advance. Doing so allows ample time for them to be able to slow down or stop.
6. Be Careful in Intersections
It is important to scan the area around you before going through or turning at an intersection. Approximately 51% of fatal motorcycle accidents occur in an intersection with another car.
7. Understand the Hand Signals
While many motorcycles are equipped with turn signals, motorcyclists sometimes find it easier to gesture with their hands. Take the time to learn basic hand signals to avoid miscommunication while driving near a motorcycle.
By understanding these tips, you can create a safer ride for yourself and the motorcyclists you share the road with!