If you are driving a vehicle, you can reduce the chance of having a crash with a motorcycle by taking some simple precautions. For example, motorists should be sure to exercise care when changing lanes. This means double-checking the side and rear-view mirrors, just to be sure that all is clear. Also, before turning at an intersection, it makes good sense to give one more look to each side. That simple action alone can be enough to avoid a crash.
The Share the Road Campaign was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reduce the chances of these types of crashes.
Here are some important tips to follow:
- A motorcycle has the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the roadway.
- Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Do not share the lane.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Because of its smaller size, a motorcyclist can be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals may not be self-canceling and motorcyclists sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed.
- Motorcycle riders may change speed or adjust position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.
- Allow more following distance -- three or four seconds – when following a motorcycle so the motorcycle rider has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.