This time of year, it’s more common to see motorcycles on the road. In the event of a crash, a motorcycle rider is more vulnerable to injury. Whether you’re running late or distracted behind the wheel, think about everyone’s safety before cutting in front of a motorcycle.
Riders can keep themselves safe by obeying the speed limit, never lane splitting and proceeding with caution – even with a green light or the right-of-way. When it comes to sharing the road with cars and trucks, what can a motorcyclist do to stay safe on the roads?
1. Be Aware of Risks
Motorcycles are fun to ride and make traveling in warm weather more enjoyable but are much harder to spot, due to their small size:
- To cars and trucks, your motorcycle appears farther away than it actually is. A car may pull out in front of a bike and cause an unavoidable collision.
- A motorcycle may get lost in a driver’s blind spot, making it harder to see when another vehicle tries to change lanes.
- Motorcycles do not offer the same degree of protection as cars and trucks, particularly due to the lack of seat belts and air bags.
2. Know How to React
In addition to keeping the above points in mind, make sure you:
- Never tailgate a car or truck, staying several vehicle lengths back.
- Always make eye contact and signal before any maneuver.
- Never drive next to a car in the same lane. It is unsafe and illegal in many areas, including CT.
- Allow enough room to counter steer or swerve to avoid obstacles in the road.
3. Keep Posted on the Weather
Motorcyclists know the risks of riding in bad weather, including snow, ice, rain, wind and fog. Cars and trucks can travel below the speed limit and generally stay safe, but riders have to keep in mind there is no enclosure separating them from the elements.
At night, it’s important to stay visible in any weather conditions. Use your high beams on dark streets, wear bright clothing that other motorists can see from a distance and make sure your eye protection is not tinted for better visibility.
At night, it’s important to stay visible in any weather conditions. Use your high beams on dark streets and make sure you’re in bright clothing that a motorist will notice from a distance.
4. Be Alert at Intersections
Approaching an intersection can be dangerous for all drivers, but particularly for motorcyclists. The majority of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, often the result of an inattentive motorist. To protect yourself:
- Come to a complete stop at the intersection and follow all traffic rules and signals.
- Approach slowly and be on the lookout for cars.
- Always make eye contact with other motorists. If you can’t see them, they likely can’t see you.
- Do not lane split to get to the front of the line. Traffic from the opposite direction will not be prepared to see your bike in the intersection.
What tips do you have for sharing the road with cars and trucks? Give us your advice on our Facebook page.