When you think about traffic on the roads, your mind usually goes to cars, trucks and other vehicles. But in the summertime, traffic often includes the two-wheeled type, such as cyclists and motorcycles. Although they may take up less space on the street, cyclists and motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists.
Making a conscious effort to share the road can help prevent accidents and save lives. When operating your motor vehicle around cyclists and motorcyclists, keep these safety tips in mind:
- When approaching a motorcycle or bicyclist, slow down. Never honk your horn and be extra cautious if there are children on bikes.
- Make sure to give motorcycles adequate room to maneuver, especially in changing road conditions.
- Maintain a safe driving distance of at least two car lengths between the front of your vehicle and the rear of a motorcycle traveling in front of you.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcyclist – they are allowed the same lane space as any other vehicle.
- Use your mirrors and windows to check for clear passage before changing lanes or making turns. Pay close attention to your blind spots.
- Always use your turn signals when making a turn or changing lanes.
- If passing a cyclist, allow for plenty of space and only pass as you would any other vehicle – when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.
- Look both ways, and look again, before entering an intersection from a stopped position.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a fender-bender with a motorcyclist or a bicyclist. In your vehicle, you are protected by air bags, seat belts, and the entire structure of the vehicle. A motorcyclist or bicyclist is completely exposed. That’s why it is so important for all drivers to make safety a priority and respect the rights of everyone on the road.