During the warmer summer months, don’t be surprised to see more motorcyclists out on the road. Driving next to a motorcycle is not like driving with other cars. Motorcycles are often smaller and harder to see when you’re checking your rearview mirror. Plus, they don’t have nearly as many safety features as a car to keep them protected from other vehicles . All a motorcyclist has to protect themselves from a collision is their helmet. That’s why drivers need to be cautious about sharing the road so that everyone can arrive safely at their destination.
As you begin to see more motorcycles hit the road, here are some helpful ways drivers can safely share the road!
Always Use Your Turn Signals and Check Your Blind Spots
When driving, you should always use your turn signals while simultaneously checking your mirrors before switching lanes or turning. At the same time, you should also make sure that you are looking over your shoulder and checking your blind spots, especially in low light or inclement weather conditions. Motorcycles are more compact and can go unnoticed in a glance at your side mirrors.
Allow Adequate Following Distance
Motorcycles slow down their speed differently than cars. Motorcycles reduce their speed by rolling off the throttle, or by downshifting. When driving behind a car, we can tell that the driver is slowing the vehicle down because we can see the brake lights. However, with motorcyclists, we don’t always see their brake lights to indicate that they are slowing down.
That’s why it’s important to keep your distance from motorcycles, and always give them enough space to slow down.
Respectfully Share the Road
If you drive a larger vehicle, don’t drive aggressively when a motorcyclist is in your way. Even if you are frustrated, never follow them at a close distance to motivate them to go faster. Driving too close to the rider will not only create a shorter braking distance, but it can stress the driver out. Stressful driving conditions can potentially lead them to make unsafe maneuvers. Everyone has the same right to be on the road, so remember to be respectful to all drivers!
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