As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, drivers should expect to see more motorcycles on the road. Glassy has some tips on how to safely navigate sharing the road with the bikes.
Double Check Your Mirrors
Motorcycles are the smallest vehicles on the road, which alter their appearance in your side and rearview mirrors. They can appear to be driving faster from further away, giving drivers in cars a false sense of the road.
Be Aware of Blind Spots
Drivers should be more aware of their blind spots, especially when switching lanes or turning. Nearly half of the fatal car vs. motorcycle accidents occur when the car is attempting to make a left-hand turn and the motorcycle continues to go straight. Part of the reason for this is because many motorcycles do not come equipped with self-canceling signals, so the signal is often left going for longer than necessary. You should make sure you make eye contact with upcoming cyclists before proceeding with your turn at an intersection.
Understand that Motorcycles Handle Differently
It is also important to note that motorcycles handle differently than cars. Because they are more lightweight than a car, motorcycle control is more likely to be affected by wind and weather conditions, such as rain or debris blowing in the street. While all drivers should note the weather and change their driving habits accordingly, you should take extra note of motorcycles and give them extra room as a safety precaution for them and for yourself. Your car will take longer to stop, and will require more force. Keep cycles and other drivers in front of you safe by following the four-second rule: pick a landmark ahead, like a mailbox, and count. If you reach the landmark before you reach the number four, slow down. If you are passing a motorcycle on the road, make sure you are several car lengths ahead before getting back into your lane.
Whether you’re on the road in a car or riding a motorcycle, make sure to drive safely this spring!