Do you have time to safely drive alongside motorcycles on the road? The kids are fighting in the back, your spouse is on their phone next to you and there’s traffic to your right and left — as a car driver, your attention can be pulled in many directions. When you’re also sharing the road with smaller vehicles like motorcycles, safety can be a challenge.
Here’s how to stay safe on the road you’re sharing:
- Look three times for motorcycles. Riders can be hard to spot with one quick glance in your side or rear mirrors, or even at an intersection. The saying, “Look Three Times” has been adopted by some in the cyclist community to instill the idea on drivers that one look may not be enough. Taking that extra time can also help drivers see bicyclists, joggers and even children coming close to the car and avoid an accident.
- Give them more space. In adverse weather conditions, it may take more time and space for a motorcyclist to brake to avoid a collision. If you’re driving in the rain, snow or at night, it’s wise to slow your speed and give more space between your vehicle and those around you. Roads can become more slippery in the rain, even without much moisture on the road, so you’ll want that space in case a cyclist slides or falls. Riders may also not be as visible in the rain, even during the middle of the day, so taking care before changing lanes or pulling into traffic is key to staying safe.
- Don’t get spooked by cycles. You might be on the highway this summer with a group of cycles on their way to a rally like Sturgis, South Dakota, or just a fun ride as a group. One of the worst things that car drivers can do is panic and start acting erratically. Instead, make sure to maintain speed and signal if you’re changing lanes (after checking your mirrors for any cycles in your blind spots).
It’s important as a driver of a large vehicle to be safe on the road, especially when faced with small potential hazards alongside you. Be safe out there and keep others safe at the same time!