Everyone has a vulnerable side, and that goes for motorcyclists, too — especially when it comes to sharing the road with bigger vehicles.
For one thing, the relatively smaller size of motorcycles makes them tougher for other drivers to spot. For another, they lack seat belts, airbags, and metal framing offered to the people on four wheels. This makes motorcycle riders more likely to be injured in an accident.
So, in the spirit of watching out for one another, here are some tips to make the roads a safer place for everyone:
- Check those blind spots. Take the time before changing lanes or merging to make doubly sure that there’s not a rider next to you who’s just out of your field of sight.
- Take left-hand turns the right way. One of the most common causes of motorcycle-related accidents involves cars turning left in front of motorcycles. Be vigilant at intersections and take the time to look twice before proceeding.
- Give them some space. Remember that motorcycles have a quicker response time, so riding on the bumper of the motorcycle ahead of you can cause the situation to take an ugly turn, fast. Likewise, motorcycle drivers have the right to their own lane. So, don’t crowd into a single lane with a motorcycle. It’s ill-advised — and illegal.
- Mother Nature can be unfriendly. Rain and snow can be especially treacherous for motorcycles. As always, be sure to use extra caution and take things slower during those times when roads might be slick or when visibility is at a minimum.
- Nor is darkness your old friend. When driving at night, be sure to turn your high beams off when a motorcycle approaches, and stay at a safe distance.
Common sense and common courtesy are two of the best share-the-road tools there are. Motorcyclists and drivers can be partners in making everyone safer.
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