Safely sharing the road with motorcycles

Sharing the road with bikers means following basic traffic rules, avoiding following motorcycles too closely and doublechecking the road and intersections.

As the weather warms up in Colorado, motorcyclists are going to be a more common sight out on the road. With this increase in biker traffic, everyone needs to keep in mind how to properly share the road, or it could lead to serious injury or death for the motorcycle riders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,668 killed across the nation during a single year. Bikers account for 14 percent of all of the traffic fatalities in the country.

Follow basic traffic rules

In order for everyone to stay safe on the road, basic traffic rules must be followed. This is true even if a biker is not around. However, because motorcycles provide no extra protection for the riders, following basic traffic rules can be even more important. Everyone should strive to do the following:

  • Use blinkers when turning, changing lanes and merging with traffic.
  • Check blind spots before switching lanes.
  • Make sure the path is clear before going through an intersection.
  • Avoid distractions and impairments when driving.
  • Avoid entering the same lane as a motorcyclist because he or she may need to maneuver around potholes or other obstacles.

By putting these simple rules to use, drivers can increase the safety of everyone on the road, including themselves and their passengers.

Provide extra space

Because motorcycles tend to have more maneuverability than larger vehicles, anyone in a car or truck may need to stay further back from a bike. Rather than providing two car lengths, for instance, a driver may want to leave three or four car lengths between himself and any bikers in front of him. This extra space is important because, while rear-ending a car usually ends without injury, rear-ending a bike can lead to serious injury or death. Extra space can provide anyone following a bike more time to hit the brakes should the motorcyclist stop abruptly or fall off of the ride.

Take a second look

People on motorbikes may not take up a lot of space, so it can be easy for others on the road to be unaware of their presence. Drivers should get in the habit of taking a second look for smaller road users, which can include pedestrians and cyclists, all year round. Hypervigilance may play a role in reducing the number of fatalities and injuries.

It is not uncommon to see motorcyclists out on Colorado roads, which is why all drivers should refamiliarize themselves with the basics of sharing the road with the riders. If an accident does take place, it can be helpful to talk with an attorney who has experience with personal injury cases.