More than 4,956 motorcyclists were killed in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With a sizeable increase in the number of motorcycles on the road in recent years, drivers must practice safer driving while sharing the road. Here are three things you can do to help keep the motorcyclists safe as well as yourself:
#1 - Check your blind spots
Not checking your blind spots is the number one reason for accidents involving motor vehicles. Because motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles on the road they can be harder to spot while changing lanes. Looking for larger cars is your first instinct, but a motorcycle and the rider tend to blend in and make them harder to spot. Take your time when changing lanes and pay special attention to your blind spots.
#2 - Give them the whole lane
Although motorcycles take up less space than a car, they are still legally allowed to have their own lane of traffic. You must move completely into the next lane to pass. There is no reason to pass in the same lane as a motorcycle, even if it looks like there is enough room. Sharing a lane is an accident waiting to happen and it could be your fault.
#3 - Treat motorcycle turn signals with extra caution
Cars have self-cancelling turn signals, but many motorcycles on the road don’t. So that means if you notice that a motorcycle is driving with their turn signal active for a long distance, increase the distance between the two of you to ensure you have enough time to react when they do turn.