Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is a national initiative aimed at getting motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” with each other. Motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway.
All motorists are reminded to watch for motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe, while motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists.
A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads and often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Very often drivers of cars and trucks don’t see motorcycles until the last second or not at all. Motorcycle operators have to anticipate the moves of other drivers and be extra cautious of road conditions and debris.
Drivers Tips to help keep motorcyclists safe:
- Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width — never try to share a lane.
- Always make a visual check for motorcycles in mirror and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic or intersections.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Allow more following distance when behind a motorcycle, three or four seconds, allows the cyclists more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle — motorcycle signals may not be self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure they are actually turning before you proceed.
- Never drive while distracted.
Motorcyclists have responsibilities also. They should follow the rules of the road, be alert to all other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted and always wear a Department of Transportation approved helmet.
Tips for motorcyclists:
- Wear a DOT compliant helmet and wear brightly colored protective gear. How to choose a helmet.
- Use turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if you don’t think anyone will see it.
- Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to yourself.
- Position yourself in the lane where you will be most visible to other drivers.
- Never drive while impaired.
- Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
Motorcycle experts recommend motorcyclists also complete some type of training before getting out on the road. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced rider, there is a class for you at SCC Corporate & Community Education.