How to Share the Road with Motorcycles to Avoid Accidents
As the weather gets warmer, you might notice a lot of people going out on the streets on two wheels. That’s usually the case here in Las Vegas, where motorcycles are no strangers on the roads.
For four-wheel drivers, it is essential to understand the importance of sharing the streets with motorcycle drivers. Given their smaller size and propensity to easily slip in between lanes and through traffic, car drivers may need to be conscious about these things to prevent the likelihood of vehicular accidents.
To ensure that all road users are safe when traversing the streets, we offer these simple tips for car drivers when sharing the thoroughfares with motorcycle drivers.
1. Treat motorcycles as if they are four-wheeled vehicles.
Motorcycles have a narrower profile than cars. Given their smaller size, they are prone to getting bullied on the roads.
This usually is the case, as when four-wheeled vehicles tend to share the lane with them. Unfortunately the maneuver can be very dangerous. If motorcycle drivers don’t move out of the lane, they are at risk of getting side-swiped. If, on the other hand, they allow themselves to be pushed onto another lane, there is a danger of getting run over by another vehicle that’s occupying that lane.
So give motorcycle drivers the full lane. Even if you think your car can also fit in alongside them.
2. Allow motorcycle drivers plenty of room when you’re changing lanes.
Keep distance in mind when you’re trying to pass a motorcycle driver or otherwise change lanes. Note that bikers may need extra room to move about, especially when there are potholes on the road. Also make sure you give them ample space for them to swerve and avoid an incoming debris.
3. Maintain a safe distance if you’re behind a motorcycle.
It can be difficult to judge the speed of the vehicle in front. With its smaller profile, how much more that of a motorcycle?
Keep in mind motorcycle drivers are likely to stop, decelerate, or swerve unexpectedly to avoid hazardous road elements. So it’s best to maintain a safe distance if you’re behind a motorcycle. Allow perhaps a following distance of at least 4 seconds, leaving room for unexpectedly stops or deceleration.
4. Give motorcycle drivers ample safe to maneuver while crossing steel bridge expansion joints, grating, or similar surfaces.
Permit motorcyclists some clearance as they traverse these risky road surfaces. Taking into consideration potholes, debris, and other hazardous road elements, they need the space to safely maneuver these areas.
5. Show the same courtesy and consideration as you would to any four-wheel driver or road user.
From small cars to big trucks, even pedestrians, they all deserve the same level of respect for safety, courtesy, and consideration. After all, we all share the roads that nobody owns. A little right of way consideration for motorcycle drivers too can go a long way.
6. Always scan for vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians when entering the road.
Cars and trucks are usually easily spotted. Relatively pedestrians too. But given their smaller frame and faster rate of speed, it can be fairly difficult to spot an incoming motorcycle. Make sure to scan for them while entering the road.