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Five safety tips for sharing the road with motorcycles

With the coming summer, many motorcyclists will be eager to get back to the roads. With the return of motorcycles comes new concerns for four-wheel drivers.

Here are some safety reminders for sharing the roads with bikers this summer:

#1 Allow extra following distance

It is a good idea to give motorcycles a little more space than you would for a car. Motorcyclists will often slow down by easing off their accelerator instead of braking. In these cases, they will slow down without their brake lights flashing to warn drivers behind them. Motorcycles also maneuver quicker than cars do. Giving them extra space will give you more time to react to their movements.

#2 Be careful with motorcycle turn signals

Unlike cars, many older model motorcycles do not have turn signals that automatically turn off. So you should be careful when you see a motorcycle with its turn signal on. It is possible that the rider has just forgotten to switch their turn signal off. Before approaching, observe the rider for some time to determine what their true intentions are.

#3 Be aware of weather and road conditions

Conditions that may seem trivial to car drivers may significantly affect a motorcyclist’s ability to operate their vehicle. Things as innocent as grass clippings may be disastrous for a biker. Be sure to be aware of how weather and road conditions may affect motorcyclists to be better prepared for their reactions.

#4 Give a motorcycle use of the full lane

Though you may be tempted to pass a motorcycle in the same lane, you should always give a motorcycle the same use of a lane that you would give a car. Although they are smaller, they have the same rights to the road as you do. Do not share a lane with a motorcycle. Instead, pass them from a separate lane or follow behind.

#5 Check your blind spots

You should always check your blind spots whenever you turn or merge. However, it is even more important to check carefully and more often when motorcyclists are likely to be on the road. Because motorcycles are smaller and more agile, they may slip into your blind spot unnoticed and be harder to spot.

Safely sharing the road with motorcycles is extremely important for both you and the rider. Remember that accidents involving motorcycles are rarely just fender benders for the rider. Be considerate of your neighbor this motorcycle season, and do your part in keeping the roads as safe as possible for all vehicle owners.