Share the Road with Motorcycles
"Look Twice, Save a Life"
Sharing the road with motorcycles means that drivers of cars need to be more aware of motorcycles on the road and the additional hazards that they face. For instance, if a motorist is following a motorcycle, he or she should understand that motorcycles have the capability of stopping more abruptly than other vehicles. Therefore, drivers should not closely follow a motorcycle. Above all, sharing the road with motorcycles comes down to consideration and being awareness.
Hazards of Riding a Motorcycle
There are many hazards involved in riding a motorcycle. Typically, other motorists do not see motorcyclists because they are used to looking for larger vehicles. For that reason alone, motorcyclist need to drive defensively, and remember that he or she may be virtually invisible to other motorists on the road, unless drivers become more aware. Another danger that motorcyclists face is themselves. Some cyclists tend to believe they are better drivers than in reality, which may entice them to get into a traffic safety issue they cannot manage well. For this reason, motorcyclists should take training classes and hone their skills and of course, ride with safety in mind. To prevent drivers from making this situation worse, they need to be defensive, as well.
Still, other dangers involve animals in the road, and perilous road conditions like wetness, iciness, and even gravel. Any pothole or speed bump, that may not even catch a traditional driver's attention, could be a potential hazard to a motorcycle. Motorcycles are more liable to fall and crash in such conditions because of the instability of two wheels rather than four. Drivers need to be aware that this is a major hazard for motorcyclists and due to the lack of physical protection, if a rider falls, there is no metal frame for protection.
Causes of Motorcycle Crashes: Web page that lists instances when accidents are more likely to occur and tips to be more aware.
Hazards for Motorcycles: Information on common hazards, along with how to avoid them. These common hazards are more dangerous for motorcyclists.
Information on Roadway Hazards for Motorcycles: Information on what certain hazards like on the roads.
Motorcycle Instruction and Safety: Motorcycling Safety information includes a mention of hazards to motorcycles.
Details on the Risks of Riding a Motorcycle: Information on the risks involved with riding a motorcycle.
Hazards Encountered when Cornering: Advice on how motorcyclists can deal with cornering hazards.
List of Motorcycling Hazards: Quite a comprehensive list of all the hazards that make bike riding difficult.
Safer Driving Around Motorcyclists
It is possible to save the lives of motorcyclist simply by being more aware and considerate. Following the motorcyclist-interaction rules will ensure that both cyclists, as well as other motorists, are able to share the road without any accidents occurring. The first rule is, because motorcycles have the right to occupying their own lane, motorists should not invade the extra space. Motorcyclist need the this space to handle any potential pitfalls that may occur, such as potholes, blasts of air from oncoming vehicles, and the circumstances of shifting traffic. When passing a motorcycle, motorists should not pass too quickly as a sudden blast of air can blow a motorcycle off course.
Many drivers who signal for an upcoming turn fail to take into consideration any possible motorcycles around them. This commonly has to do with drivers watching out for larger vehicles, and motorcycles just get overlooked. Motorcyclists are better able to get lost in a driver's blind spots. Because a driver is unaware, he or she may change lanes at the wrong time. Therefore, it is always important for drivers to check, and double check, the blind spots to avoid causing an accident.
Advice on Driving when Motorcycles are Present: Information that other motorists should know when motorists are around.
Collision Prevention Advice: Advice that other drivers can undertake to prevent collisions with motorcycles.
Awareness of Motorcycles: Article that cautions readers to watch out for motorcyclists.
Accident Avoidance Advice: Article that offers tips from the police regarding lessening accidents.
Information for Other Drivers: Article that talks about what other drivers should watch out for when motorcyclists are around.
How Motorists can Respect Motorcyclists: Advice relating to what motorists can do to respect the rights of motorcyclists.
Mutual Observance Between Drivers and Motorists: Information for drivers and motorcyclists on how to cut down on fatalities.
For Car Drivers: A driver's safety guide from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Tips for Driving Safely Around Motorcycles
There are many considerations that drivers can take around motorcyclists to ensure that accidents are lessened. According to the statistics, nearly all collisions or accidents involving motorists and motorcyclists are actually the fault of the motorists. One of the most notorious parts of the road where collisions with motorcyclists occur, is at intersections. Almost one-third of all motorcycle-related accidents happen here. Therefore, drivers should be more aware when crossing an intersection and check all mirrors and around their vehicles before crossing the intersection.
Motorists must allow the same following distance of at least three or four seconds when trailing a motorcycle. The reason is that motorcycles need that time to stop in the case of an emergency. Furthermore, tailgating a motorcycle in dry conditions is not recommended since motorcycles are able to stop quicker than other vehicles, which can result in a greater chance for accidents. Motorists also must take care to be wary of motorcyclists who are using their signal lights, as these signal lights can stay on for a longer time because they are not self-canceling. So in reaction, drivers who observe these turn signals should wait to see if the motorcyclists are in fact turning before proceeding.
Tips for Driving with Motorcycles: Safety tips for other motorists from the GHSA.
Keeping Safe on the Road Among Motorcycles: Tips from Ontario’s provincial government on sharing the road with motorcycles.
Safe Sharing of the Road with Motorcycles (pdf): Tips from Michigan’s state government on safe road-sharing with motorcycles.
Tips on Driving Safely Near Motorcycles: Tips from Illinois’ state government on how motorists can coexist with motorcyclists.
Advice for Automobile Drivers: Advice from the state of Massachusetts on how motorists should behave near motorcyclists.
Police Tips on Sharing the Road: Tips straight from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department on sharing the road with motorcyclists.
Tips on how to Effectively Share the Road (pdf): Tips for both drivers and motorcyclists on how to share the road together.
Tips to Reduce Fatalities: Article that discusses federal initiative to lower fatalities among motorcyclists.
Motorcycle Advocacy Groups
Motorcycle advocacy groups are organizations that fight to educate the public about driving safely around motorcycles. As an example, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is the world’s largest motorcyclist group that promotes the rights and the lifestyle of motorcyclists. The AMA is an active lobbying group to local, state, and federal government. The AMA is not alone in its advocacy for motorcycles. Other prominent and noteworthy motorcycle advocacy groups include the ABATE of California (which promotes safety and education), the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (which promotes motorcycle safety through training), and the American Automobile Association (AAA), which promotes safety and support for all sorts of vehicles.
American Motorcyclist Association: Pro-motorcycle advocacy group that features education, membership information, and camaraderie for fellow bikers.
ABATE of California: Motorcycle advocacy group operating in California that fights for the rights of bikers.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation: Foundation that offers training to motorcyclists, among other benefits.
List of Motorcycle Advocacy Groups: A short-but-meaningful list of groups that advocate for motorcyclists.
Collection of Motorcycle Advocacy Groups: A longer list of advocacy groups that look out for motorcyclists.
Right it Right Safety Initiative: A partnership of organizations that is focused on lessening motorcycle casualties.
The British Motorcyclists Federation: Federation that protects the interests of motorcyclists in Britain.
Motorcycle Team Oregon: A nationally regarded group that is dedicated to training motorcyclists to ride properly.