Top 7 Safe Driving Tips for How to Share the Road with Motorcycles
Article by Attorney Harmony J. Widman
In 2015, the federal government estimated that deaths on motorcycles were nearly 29 times higher than automobile accident related deaths. In fact, 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in 2016 according to U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars as motorcycles lack the physical protection of a car and are often less stable and less visible than cars.
Here are 7 things you can do to help keep motorcycle drivers safe:
1.Check your blind spots
Motorcycles and their drivers are smaller than the typical cars and hard to see when merging or changing lanes. In addition, motorcycles tend to blend into other images more easily than cars. Take extra time when merging or changing lanes to check your blind spots.
2. Remember motorcycles react more quickly than cars
Ensure that you maintain a decent following distance behind motorcycles. Rear-end collisions for motorcycles can be fatal to the rider.
3. Stay in your lane
Legally motorcycles are entitled to their own lane. Do not share a lane with a motorcycle.
4. Use your turn signal
When you know there is a motorcycle behind you, initiate your turn signal sooner than you normally would to reduce pile-ups involving motorcycles.
5. Pay extra attention in intersections
Many automobile accidents involving cars and motorcycles occur at intersections. Always follow safety protocols, traffic signs and signals and proceed carefully through intersections.
6. Watch for turning motorcycles
Many motorcycles on the road today do not have self-cancelling turn signals. If you are traveling behind a motorcycle with an activated turn signal for an extended distance, increase your following distance to ensure you have enough time to react when the motorcycle turns.
7. Be extra cautious when passing
Passing a motorcycle is legal, however, it presents extra dangers for the motorcycle driver. As your car passes the motorcycle, the increased speed can cause a gust of wind which could blow the motorcycle driver off of the road. When passing a motorcycle always use your turn signals and move several car lengths ahead of the motorcycle before returning to the same lane.
If you or someone you know, has been the victim of a motorcycle accident, please call us immediately to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help protect your rights.