As summer is in full swing, the weather is often perfect for motorcycle owners to break out their motorcycles. The addition of motorcycles on the roadway increases the complexity of safely navigating your vehicle to reach your desired destination. Although motorcycles are smaller and agile motor vehicles, drivers of cars and trucks must be constantly alert to avoid infringing on a motorcyclist’s space and causing dangerous situations.
If you drive a standard car or truck, there are many considerations to think about when driving near a motorcycle. The first consideration to keep in mind is motorcycles can often be caught in the blind spots of your mirrors. When you pass a motorcycle on the road, or if a motorcycle is passing you, be sure to check your blind spots thoroughly. As smaller motor vehicles, motorcycles will sometimes not appear when you look at your mirrors, and this can lead to an extremely perilous situation, such as trying to change lanes when it is unsafe to do so.
Another factor to keep in mind is it is hard to see motorcycles at night. Being smaller vehicles with less lighting, motorcycles are harder to spot than other types of motor vehicles at night. As such, it is paramount you raise your awareness at night to avoid approaching a motorcycle too quickly or absentmindedly changing lanes when there is a motorcycle occupying that lane.
In addition to the time of day, it is also important to acknowledge that weather impacts the operation of motorcycles. Naturally, it certainly can be more difficult to operate a motorcycle in rain or snow. For instance, operating a motorcycle in rain can influence the motorcyclist’s ability to see and control the motorcycle. Thus, as a driver of a car or truck, you need to be keenly aware of how these factors impact a motorcyclist so you can react in an appropriate manner.
Also, be on high alert at intersections as motorcyclists can sometimes appear seemingly out of nowhere. For example, attempting to make a left turn as traffic is approaching you from the opposite direction can lead to an extremely dangerous situation for motorcyclists. An approaching vehicle could potentially block your view of an oncoming motorcycle, which could lead to a tragic, and potentially deadly, collision. To that end, it is important to completely examine an intersection as you approach it.
As motorcycles are a mainstay during the warm months, there are additional considerations that must be contemplated to ensure the safety of all motorists on the roadway. Whether you are operating a motorcycle or a more traditional motor vehicle, it is crucial to be cognizant of all other types of motor vehicles on the road.
Be cautious and be safe!