Heading out on your bike can bring a real sense of freedom, but if you ride, you also recognize the dangers inherent to traveling alongside motorists in much larger vehicles who may not even see you in their midst. The fact is that motorcycle accidents are among the deadliest traffic accidents on our roadways, and they are often caused by other drivers who simply are not on the lookout for motorcycles. When you are behind the wheel of your car, you should make sharing the road safely with everyone – including motorcycles – your top priority, and fortunately, there are some safety tips to help you do that.
Tip 1: Give Them Space on the Road
Motorcycles are different than the cars we drive. For example:
- They are smaller and lighter
- They are nimbler and can dip more easily in and out of traffic
- They require shorter stopping distances
As a motorist, you need to take these differences into consideration. If the motorcycle in front of you needs to change speeds or stop suddenly, you must be prepared to follow suit – allow plenty of space between you and the motorcycle in front of you on the road.
Tip 2: Make Checking Your Blind Spots Routine
Motorcycle accidents often happen when motorists change or merge lanes because they simply do not see the bikes in their blind spots. If you do not notice the motorcycle on the road in the first place, it is very easy to assume that it is safe to proceed into the next lane, but this is a dangerous habit. As a driver, you are responsible for ensuring that it is safe for you to change lanes or to merge, which makes carefully checking behind and beside your car critical when preparing to leave your lane.
Tip 3: Factor in the Weather
Bad weather not only affects your ability to handle your vehicle on the road but also reduces visibility. When you couple this with the fact that motorcycles are much more vulnerable to the perils of inclement weather than larger, heavier vehicles are, it makes it that much important to remain hypervigilant of motorcyclists in your midst whenever there is bad weather.
Tip 4: Take Intersections and Left Turns Very Seriously
Intersections represent the convergence of traffic coming from all directions, and they are the site of many dangerous accidents. Because of the lower profile and smaller size of their bikes, motorcyclists are even more susceptible to intersection accidents. Make sure you come to complete stops, carefully follow all road signs and signals, and check all directions before proceeding through an intersection. Employ the same level of caution when you make left turns, which involve the same kinds of danger.