Updated: May 16, 2019
With warmer weather, it’s time to remind everyone to be on the alert and to share the road with motorcyclists. Riders who have been cooped up all winter are excited to be out on the road again, but that shouldn’t stop them from using caution.
Both motorcyclists and motorists need to be aware of their surroundings. Checking blind spots, mirrors and using turn signals are necessary when changing lanes and when passing. Distracted driving has been on the rise, too. Distractions during driving could mean the difference between seeing a motorcyclist or not when preparing to change lanes. Don’t let one text change anyone’s life forever.
TIPS FOR MOTORISTS
If you are turning at an intersection and your view of oncoming traffic is partially obstructed, wait until you can see around the obstruction, sufficiently scan for all roadway users (pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists alike), and proceed with caution.
One’s reaction time and ability to assess and respond to a potential collision, such as a lane change, is significantly hindered if there are large differences in speed among vehicles in traffic. When approaching a congested roadway, being diligent in modifying your speed to match that of the cars in traffic can be a lifesaver, particularly for motorcyclists.
Allow motorcyclists a full lane width. Though it may seem as if there is enough room in a single lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, looks can be deceiving. Share the road, but not the lane: motorcyclists need room to maneuver safely.
Because motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles, they can be difficult to see. Their size can also cause other motorists to misjudge their speed and distance.
Size also counts against motorcycles when it comes to blind spots. Motorcyclists can be easily hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always look for motorcycles by checking your mirrors and blind spots before switching to another lane of traffic.
Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.