How to Share the Road with Motorcycles

Sharing road with motorcycles

Summer and early fall are some of the best times of the year to rev up your motorcycle and hit the open road. But with those great riding temperatures, comes an increase in road congestion and a greater number of accidents for both four and two-wheeled vehicles.

However, what many drivers forget is that car accidents and motorcycle accidents don’t compare. Something that causes a dent on your car can reap life-threatening consequences for a motorcycle rider. If a rider is sideswiped, it isn’t a door or fender that’s hit — it’s their arms and legs, completely exposed. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that 80% of all reported crashes result in injury or fatality for the motorcyclist. While these numbers span the time frame of a whole year, August is considered one of the deadliest months on the road for motorcycle riders.

how to share the road with motorcyclesThat’s why it’s important that riders take all the extra safety precautions they can, no matter what the time of year is or how seasoned a rider you might be. To help you reduce your chances of becoming another statistic, CarRentals put together this guide to sharing the road with motorcycles. Not only does this focus on motorcycle awareness for drivers, but it offers tips for riders to live by. Take a look at a few below.

Being Ready to Ride a Motorcycle

Practice operating your motorcycle. This doesn’t just apply to new riders. If you’re a  seasoned rider who only hits the road during the summer months, you might want to take a couple practice rides in safe parking lots or open roads as a skills refresher.

Riding in the DarkBe cautious at night. 36% of motorcycle accidents occur when it’s dark outside. Everything from reducing your speed to riding with reflective gear is essential.

Don’t forget to do a pre-ride check. These only take a few minutes and can save you from some dire consequences and help make sure your bike doesn’t need maintenance that can impact your safety.

Your check should include

  • Check the tire pressure to make sure that they’re not over or underinflated, tread depth and that your tires aren’t excessively worn.
  • Check your rear and front brakes by rocking the bike front and back to make sure both the brakes and shocks work.
  • Check your controls by turning the handlebars from one lock position to another. This will help make sure you have the full range of steering and that there aren’t any cables or wires that get caught.
  • Drive chain. Check your chain and gears by looking for any missing chain-links or any missing or malformed teeth in the gears. Also look for a worn or cracking belt.
  • Fluids. It’s usually safe to assume that if you don’t see any leaks on the ground underneath your motorcycle that the fluids are still inside where they belong. However, it’s still a good idea to check the oil, coolant and brake fluids every so often.
  • Frame. Look primarily for any cracks in the welds or lifting paint that might indicate damage or stress on the frame.

Lastly, split lanes responsibly. Splitting lanes is not legal in every state, but if you live in a state where this is common practice or are traveling to one, you need to know how to split lanes properly. Make sure you’re always in a driver’s field of view, anticipate lane changes and cover your horn in case you need to get a drivers attention.

These tips only scratch the surface to help riders stay safe on the road. For more information, check out their resource list to prepare for your next ride.

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