With warm weather comes the rumble of v-twin engines and two wheels. The high price of gas also contributes to more people buying and riding motorcycles. Car drivers need to be ready to watch for motorcycles as more and more riders get their bikes onto the road. Here are a few tips that will help you identify and travel with motorcyclists.
Motorcycles are much smaller than cars and there are fewer of them. When driving your car, make sure to double-check your blind spots for motorcycles. Most motorcyclists will make a point to not ride in your blind spot, but it is always a good idea to double check.
Motorcyclists often use downshifting and less throttle to slow down. This means they may not always use their brakes to slow down. If you are driving a car behind a motorcyclist, be sure to put a little extra space in between your car and the motorcycle. This extra space provides a cushion: when the motorcyclist slows down without using their brake, you will be ready for it.
Most motorcycles do not have self-canceling turn signals. A motorcyclist may forget to turn off their turn signal after making a turn. If you see a motorcycle’s turn signal flashing, be extra careful and make sure that it is supposed to be flashing.
Any kind of weather, like rain, that makes it more difficult to stop a car will have a more severe effect on motorcycles. Stopping distance for motorcycles on a dry surface is roughly the same as it is for cars, but on a slick surface motorcycles are much harder to stop. This means that you need to give motorcyclist extra space when it rains.
The most helpful thing that a driver can do to minimize the risks to motorcyclist, is to just look for them. Every time you do any maneuver on the road, take a second look and make sure that you didn’t miss a motorcycle the first time you looked.
Do you own a bike? Do you have any tips for spotting or dealing with motorcycles? Leave a comment in the box below.