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Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

Share Road with Motorcycles

Warmer weather is always a draw for those who love to ride motorcycles. And, of course, driving a car and driving a motorcycle requires different skills and knowledge. As a driver, what do you need to know about sharing the road with motorcyclists?

Safe Driving Practices for All

Motorcycles are less stable and when accidents happen, riders do not have the protection of an enclosed vehicle. This means that motorcyclists are more likely to be injured or killed.

According to the NHTSA, motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles (based on 2014 fatal crash data).

Safe driving practices by all – both motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles – can help reduce these fatalities and injuries.

  • Be on the lookout for motorcyclists; the size and visibility of a motorcycle makes them difficult to see and they can easily be hidden in blind spots.
  • Use your side-view and rear-view mirrors. Improper use of a car’s side-view mirrors contributes to collisions, especially with smaller vehicles like a motorcycle.
  • Allow motorcyclists a full lane width. Share the road, not the lane. Motorcyclists need room to maneuver safely, too. This goes for motorcyclists as well; riding side-by-side does not allow appropriate maneuvering room.
  • Be aware of motorcycle riding practices such as downshifting or weaving. You may need to adjust your own speed accordingly.
  • Allow more follow distance when behind a motorcyclist in case the rider needs to stop quickly. Motorcyclists may need to change speed or adjust lane position to avoid hazards such as potholes, wet or slippery surfaces and grooved pavement.
  • Drivers – no matter what type of vehicle – should never drive while distracted.
  • Motorcyclists should wear a DOT-compliant helmet and use reflective tape and gear to be more visible.
  • Motorcycle passengers should sit as far forward as possible, directly behind the driver, with feet on the foot rests at all times, keeping movement to a minimum, leaning at the same time as the driver and in the same direction.
  • Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination and good judgement.

Motorcyclist Statistics


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