Tips for Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

A young woman on a motocycle pulled over on to the side of the road wearing leather protective gear and a helmet.Spring is upon us, and you’ve likely already seen a few motorcycle enthusiasts taking to the road. People presume to know how to conduct themselves when driving around motorcycles, but the bumper stickers and billboards aren’t enough to prevent motorcycle and automobile collisions from occurring each day. As motorcycles are a high-risk category of vehicles, it takes awareness from all parties to keep everyone safe. To help promote safe driving, here are our tips for sharing the road with motorcycles.

Why Must Cars Be Extra Vigilant Sharing the Road with Motorcycles?

Despite motorcycles attracting thrill-seekers, it’s usually passenger-vehicle drivers that are at fault during accidents. According to a Florida Department of Transportation study, in the case of car and motorcycle accidents, 60 percent of the time, the fault is with the motorist. The likely reason for such statistics is there are much more opportunities to be distracted in a car – whether it be texting or eating a snack. However, motorcycle riders don’t have a choice but to focus on the road – as these distractions are less convenient on a bike and because a misstep on them is more likely to be fatal.

How Can I Make the Road Safer for Motorcycles?

While passenger-vehicle drivers have the luxury of having some protection from accidents, motorcyclists are much more susceptible to life-altering injuries or worse. To prevent being involved in such an accident, here are some tips you should follow:

  • Follow at a Further Distance: Motorcycles can brake at a much faster rate than automobiles due to their lighter weight. Instead of the standard two-second following distance, there should be a gap of four seconds.
  • Pay Close Attention at Night: As most road vehicles have two headlights, sometimes a driver can mistake a motorcyclist’s solitary headlight as a flashlight or driveway marker. Make sure your situational awareness is suited to night driving.
  • Check Your Blind Spots: Take stock of all your blind spots before merging. Motorcycles are small, so they’re easy to overlook in certain situations.
  • Don’t Pass Too Closely: It’s lawful to pass a motorcycle in the same means you would any other vehicle, but the gust of wind created in your wake could be enough to knock over a motorcyclist.

Of course, some of the responsibility of defensive driving falls upon the motorcycle rider, too. It’s a collaborative effort by both operators to prevent life-threatening accidents.

Rely on Insurance to Help in the Event of Unavoidable Accidents

Sometimes a fender bender is unavoidable. You can practice all these tips and more to prevent a fatal accident, but in the event of a collision, you should ensure you are covered by the right insurance, whether you’re the one driving the car or the motorcycle. Not only will both car insurance and motorcycle insurance cover your vehicle, but it will cover any property damage and bodily harm to the other driver or rider in the event you’re at fault for the accident. It’s also recommended motorcyclists invest in personal property insurance to cover their safety gear and motorcycle equipment on and off the road.

These tips sharing the road with motorcycles are necessary to avoid fatal collisions. As a driver, you’re not only responsible for yourself but also for others. Additionally, you’re responsible for investing in insurance to keep you and any other motorists protected from the financial repercussions of an accident. At TJ Woods Insurance, our agents will ensure to match you with the auto insurance or motorcycle policy that suits your needs. If you require protection from the hazards of the road, contact us today.