With spring in the air, motorcyclists are preparing to hit the open road. With over 850,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania, it’s important for motor vehicle drivers to remember best practices when sharing the road with motorcycles.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, over 150 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2018. While tragic, this was about a 13% decrease from 2017. You may be able to support this downward trend by driving carefully near motorcycles.
Here are a few key tips for driving cautiously around motorcyclists:
- Follow from a safe distance. You should give a four-second following distance when you’re behind a motorcycle. This is especially important when you’re approaching an intersection. Motorcyclists often slow down by shifting gears or releasing the throttle, so you may not always see brake lights.
- Scan the road for motorcycles. Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and can be hard to spot. You should make sure to check your blind spots carefully when you want to change lanes. Motorcycles can accelerate quickly and may approach faster than you think.
- Be considerate during bad weather. Motorcyclists may have trouble navigating the roads when it’s foggy or rainy. They’re smaller and less sturdy than cars. Make sure to give them extra space and drive cautiously when you’re near them in poor weather.
- Always be respectful. This goes for driving around any vehicle, but especially when you’re around motorcycles. Don’t cut them off or assume they don’t deserve the same treatment as motor vehicles. Remember to keep your emotions in check and avoid driving aggressively.
Motorcycle accidents are much more likely to result in fatalities than motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, it’s imperative that you drive cautiously around motorcycles – and help make the road safe for all vehicles.