Who doesn’t love a crisp, sunny day? The second Sunday in October is usually a lovely day to get outside. It’s also National Motorcycle Ride Day, a day that encourages motorcyclists to get out there and unite for a day of motorcycle riding. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep each other safe on the road. There will probably be more motorcycles out than usual for National Motorcycle Ride Day, so here are 3 ways we can all share the road safely.
1. Drive aware.
Motorists and motorcyclists alike need to keep a close eye out for each other. Motorcycles are harder to see than passenger vehicles because of their smaller size. When you are on the road or at an intersection with a motorcycle, use extra caution and care. Practice watching for the narrow profile. Expect sudden maneuvers so you won’t be caught off-guard.
When you are driving near a motorcycle, expect and allow room for the rider to adjust to hazards you can’t see. Cyclists often change lanes to prepare for upcoming traffic conditions. Most collisions and injuries occur at intersections, so wait until a motorcyclist’s intentions are absolutely clear before moving into their path of travel. As a motorcyclist, avoid traveling in a driver’s blind spot as much as possible.
2. Be mindful of adverse conditions.
Motorcycles are affected more than cars by poor traveling conditions, such as rain, wet roads, ice and heavy wind. Be aware that the cyclist’s braking and handling abilities will be impaired, and drive accordingly.
3. Share the road.
Motorcyclists have the same rights as drivers. However, motorcyclists deal with different types of hazards than drivers, and often need to shift in their lane. As a result, they need the whole lane for safe riding. You should not share the lane with a motorcycle if you can help it, and motorcyclists should avoid sharing the lane with motorists. If you need to pass, do so in another lane as you would if you were passing another car.
Pass a motorcycle just like you would pass a car. Don’t share the lane while passing, and don’t get too close or go too fast. The blast of air could blow a motorcycle out of control. Always signal your intention to turn and watch for oncoming motorcycles that may be hard to see. When turning left at 4-way intersections, always be alert and watch for motorcyclists following behind vehicles in oncoming traffic. Be patient and look for motorcyclists.
Follow motorcycles from at least four to six seconds behind. They will need this time to maneuver in the event of an emergency. If there is not enough stopping room, both motorcyclists and drivers tend to make poor decisions in emergencies.
We hope everyone has a fun and safe National Motorcycle Ride Day! We also hope you’ll visit our website! We offer convenient online courses for traffic school, defensive driving, auto insurance discounts, driver education, and mature driver improvement. Click here to see which courses we offer in your area!