Share the Road with Motorcyclists

The National Motorist Association has provided a set of safety tips for drivers and motorcyclists. As the weather gets warmer, there will be more and more bikers on the road. Also please note that June 17, 2013 is National Ride to Work Day.

The safety list from the NMA is below in its entirity:

  1. “A motorcycle has the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the roadway.
  2. Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Although it may seem that there is enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane.
  3. Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
  4. Because of their smaller size, motorcycles may look farther away than they really are. This may also make it difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or out of a driveway, realize that an oncoming motorcycle may be closer than it looks.
  5. Motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots or masked by objects outside the vehicle. Before changing lanes or turning at intersections, take an extra minute to thoroughly check traffic around you.
  6. 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.
  7. Remember that road conditions that are minor annoyances to motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, so you won’t see a brake light. At intersections, a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.”


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