May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the perfect time to educate drivers on how to share the road with motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as any motor vehicle driver, but because riding poses so many safety risks, motor vehicle drivers need to take certain precautions. It’s important to remember that motorcyclists aren’t the only ones responsible for their safety.
In order to avoid or prevent motorcycle accidents, all drivers should be aware of the following:
- A motorcycle is easily hidden in a car’s blind spot. Due to their size, motorcycles are not as noticeable as motor vehicles. Take extra caution when changing lanes and double check your mirrors.
- A motorcycle may look farther away than it actually is, so be extra careful when turning at an intersection or into a driveway.
- Motorcyclists brake lights aren’t activated every time they slow down. When a motorcyclist slows down, they often downshift or roll off the throttle to engine brake, therefore not activating the brake light. Whenever you are behind a motorcycle, allow for extra distance. At intersections, assume that the motorcyclist will slow down without visual warning.
- Never attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle. Treat them as if they were the size of a motor vehicle and allow them their own space.
- Most motorcycles have self-canceling turn signals. It may appear the operator is going to make a turn, but use caution and wait to see if a turn is actually made.
- Motorcyclists will often adjust their position in a lane to seem more noticeable to other drivers, not to be reckless. Motorcyclists do this to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles and wind.
- A motorcycle can maneuver easily, however, never assume a motorcyclist will dodge you or another object.
- It’s difficult for motorcycles to stop quickly on slippery or wet pavement. For this reason, keep a good distance when driving behind a motorcycle and never tailgate them.
Riding a motorcycle is an important form of transportation for commuting, touring and recreation. It is necessary to develop safe driving habits to accommodate the over one million riders on Florida’s roadways. Unfortunately, accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident and have questions or would like more information, then please contact us.