Road Sharing: How to Drive Safely Alongside Motorcycles

August is Motorsports Awareness Month! And since motorcycles are popular motorsport vehicles, it’s a good time for riders to brush up on spring and winter maintenance basics and safety guidelines. It’s also the perfect opportunity for automobile drivers to learn how to travel safely alongside motorcycle fans. So, let’s talk about road sharing safety.

 

Understand the motorcycle experience.

 

It’s a good idea to understand the challenges of driving a motorcycle—even if you never plan to ride one yourself. Know that riders might not be able to maneuver their bikes easily to avoid collisions, and motorcycles can be riskier to drive in poor weather. So, keep this in mind when road sharing.

 

Never share a lane.

 

Motorcycles take up less road space than cars, but that doesn’t mean you can squeeze in next to them in the same lane. They are legally entitled to as much road as any other vehicle and need that space to safely maneuver.

 

Keep an eye out.

 

Always check your blind spot before changing lanes but pay extra attention if you know a motorcycle is near. They’re harder to see. And watch out for turning motorcycles. Some older models don’t have self-canceling turn signals, so if a rider’s blinker flashes for an unusual amount of time, give them more space to turn when needed.

 

Be careful when turning left.

 

Watch out for approaching motorcycles when turning left at intersections. It’s hard to gauge their speed, so you might not clear the road in time. And, if you don’t, you could cause a fatal accident.

 

Take extra caution at night.

 

At night, give motorcycle riders an even bigger lead than the four-second standard and turn off your high beams when you see one approaching. You should also avoid passing a motorcycle after dark.

 

Of course, if you do cause an accident, your car insurance will help cover the damage and medical bills. But it’s much better to be safe than sorry when road sharing.