Watch Out For Motorcycles

motorcyclesWith good weather returning, I wonder if you could remind everyone that there are more motorcycles on the road. We all need to check around extra carefully because bikers are more vulnerable and easy to miss.

I'm writing this to you now because riding my motorcycle this morning on my way to work, a driver swung across three lanes of traffic (from the right to the left) without doing a proper check and I had to lock my brakes to avoid getting hit by her.

Always Check Your Blind Spots for Motorcycles

This incident could be an example of a looked but didn't see situation. This driver was not looking specifically for a motorcycle that was there to be seen but not conspicuous among the larger vehicles surrounding it.

Instead of just glancing over your shoulder before you turn or change lanes, search your blind spots to insure that nothing is there.

Leave More Following Distance

It's a common myth that motorcycles have a shorter stopping distance than cars and trucks do. However, gearing down means that a motorcycle can slow without the brake light coming on. Leave more following distance if you find yourself behind a motorcycle to prevent rear ending the rider if something unexpected happens.

Motorcyclists are considered to be vulnerable road users under new legislation and a minimum following distance of 3m will be set. Remember this when stopping behind one at traffic controls.

Take a Second Look at Left Turns

There is no such thing as a fender bender for motorcycles. Always watch carefully for them when making a left turn. Any mistakes here can be fatal for the rider.

Judgement of Distance and Speed

We rely on the visual change in size of an object to judge it's distance and speed. Due to the fact that motorcycles are smaller, we may mistake them for being slower and further away than they really are.

Motorcycles are Entitled to Their Lane

If you are passing a motorcycle, do it as you would for any other vehicle. Move completely out of the lane, complete the pass and then move back.

While we are on the subject, look before you open your door when exiting the left side of a parked vehicle.

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