Many people drive motorcycles. Whether it is their main mode of transportation or just a fun weekend recreation, they deserve just as much respect on the road as anyone else. Unfortunately, due to their small size and lack of the safety features of larger vehicles, accidents involving motorcycles tend to be more damaging to their drivers.
Here are 5 tips to respect motorcycle drivers on the road.
1.) Check Your Blind Spots
Checking your blind spots should be a no brainer, but sometimes even when you think you have checked everything, you may be mistaken. Since motorcycles are so much smaller than the average vehicle, they may hide in blind spots you aren’t even aware of.
2.) Use Your Signals Appropriately
Signaling is important for those in front and behind you to know what your intentions are while driving. Motorcycles are no exception to this rule. If you plan on making a lane change, or regular turn, using your signal will give a motorcyclist enough time to react.
Another important factor in regards to signaling is keeping your vehicle’s lights well maintained. You may be using your turn signal every time you turn or change lanes, but if your lights aren’t working, or are covered in dirt, snow, or other debris, the drivers around you won’t be able to see them.
3.) Pass With Care
When passing a motorcycle, you may feel that you have more room than you actually do. The best way to pass a motorcycle is to treat it as a regular sized vehicle. This means that you should give the motorcycle ample space. A lot can impact the driver of a motorcycle, even the wind from a passing vehicle. Out of respect for the safety and well being of other drivers, take caution when you are passing. Passing and changing lanes is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents.
4.) Look AND Listen When Turning
A useful tool for watching for motorcycles is listening. Although not always, many times motorcycles are louder and very distinct compared to the sounds that other vehicles make. Using all the tools available is the best way to make sure you are keeping yourself and those around you safe.
In the event that a motorcycle is following closely behind you or driving conditions are bad, and you plan on turning, slowing down and watching your blind spots can give the motorcyclist a chance to either pass you, slow down themselves, or get into view so you can make an appropriate decision.
5.) Keep A Safe Follow Distance
Never follow a vehicle too closely. When it comes to motorcycles, the classic rule of 3-4 seconds behind will work. A motorcyclist has significantly less protection from accidents, whereas cars and trucks have frames, airbags, and other safety features. If a motorcycle has to stop abruptly, they are at a significantly higher risk for severe injury from being rear-ended or struck due to a vehicle following too closely.
We hope these reminders help everyone enjoy safe motorcycling. But if you or someone your know is involved in a motorcycle accident of any capacity, Fry | Goehring can help. Contact Us or give us a call at (404) 948-3571.