Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists

During the summer months, you may notice more motorcyclists on the road taking advantage of the warmer weather conditions.

Although motorcycles may look sturdy and strong, they can be quite fragile.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2012, an increase of 7 percent from the prior year. Sharing the road with motorcyclists safely is critical to accident prevention.

Driver riding motorcycle on an asphalt road through forest

Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to sharing the road with auto drivers and motorcyclists:

Don’t drive side-by-side with a motorcyclist in the same lane.

Motorcyclists should not ride side-by-side with another motorcyclist in the same lane. Although it may look like there is enough space, you never want to increase your chance of an accident occurring. Both vehicles need enough space to turn and switch lanes if necessary.

Check your blind spots.

Motorcyclists are much harder to find in your blind spots than regular cars or trucks. As a result, you should always do a thorough check of your blind spots before you merge lanes, never during. In a similar token, because motorcycles tend to be smaller in size than other vehicles on the road, it becomes easier to misjudge both their speed and their distance. If unsure, always wait for a motorcyclist to safely pass before crossing or turning yourself.

Moreover, it is wise to keep in mind that motorcycles are allowed to drive in-between cars. Because of this, auto drivers will want to be alert to their surroundings, as motorcyclists can merge to and from lanes quickly.

Plan for space.

Motorcyclists need more space behind them than traditional motor vehicles do. When a motorcycle is ahead of you, aim for three or four seconds of follow space in the event that either you or the motorcyclist needs to stop suddenly.

Motorcyclists need to be aware that wearing a helmet can greatly increase the chance of survival in an accident. Read our past post on Motorcycle Helmet Safety for more information on the proper size and fit of a motorcycle helmet. Moreover, wearing protective clothing can be a saving grace if a motorcyclist were ever to crash on hot asphalt. Read Motorcycle Road Trip Tips From the Pros for more information.

I understand the mechanics of motorcycles, and possess years of experience unraveling manufacturing defect cases that have hurt, injured or killed motorcyclists.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, feel free to contact my firm for a free consultation about your situation.