The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers tips for drivers of cars and trucks about sharing the road safely with motorcycles. Not only can we use them and share them with other car and truck drivers, but they also give us some reminders about our own actions as motorcyclists.
Because motorcycles have a narrow profile, they’re more easily hidden by a vehicle’s blind spot or by outside stuff like hedges. Its small size also makes a motorcycle seem farther away than it is. It’s also harder to judge the speed of a motorcycle than other vehicles. So, take the extra time to look carefully when changing lanes, turning, stopping, and so on.
Because motorcyclists don’t always need to use brakes to slow and stop, drivers might not see brake lights. Allow some extra space between cars or trucks and motorcycles when approaching an intersection. Allow extra distance when it’s slippery, too, because the motorcycle may be harder to control.
Most motorcycles don’t have self-cancelling turn signals. Riders, especially beginners, may forget to turn them off. Be sure the motorcyclist is turning before you react to it.
Riders may change their position within a lane for many reasons. It is not an invitation to pass or to share a lane. Motorcycles are maneuverable, but they can’t dodge everything. Don’t just expect them to get out of your way.
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