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Home / Insurance / 6 Driving Tips to Keep Motorcyclists Safe | Atlas Insurance Brokers

6 Driving Tips to Keep Motorcyclists Safe | Atlas Insurance Brokers

Warmer weather is here, which means you’ll see more motorcycles on the road. And the key word here is “see”. People driving cars and trucks often fail to notice motorcyclists around them, in part because they are not used to looking for them.

It’s obvious but bears repeating: Motorcyclists are far more vulnerable than car and truck drivers and passengers. Not only are there many more cars and trucks on the road, but there is no such thing as a “fender bender” for a motorcyclist. Even a low-speed collision can seriously injure a rider, not to mention the entire bike, so it’s important to always give motorcycles extra clearance and extra looks.

Below are six tips to help you safely share the road with motorcyclists.

Object in the mirror. The object in your mirror may be closer than it looks ̵

1; especially if it’s a motorcycle. Because of its size, it can be more difficult to determine how close a motorcycle is and how fast it is moving. When turning into traffic, always estimate that a bike is closer than it appears to avoid forcing a rider to brake quickly – or worse.

Look at those left turns. One of the most common motorcycle accidents is a car making a left turn directly in front of a bicycle at an intersection. Give yourself an extra moment to look specifically for oncoming motorcycles as you turn into traffic.

Double check your blind spot. Carefully checking your blind spot before changing lanes is always a good idea. When it comes to motorcycles, it’s crucial. A bike can easily be obscured in the blind spot, hidden behind your car’s roof pillars or blending in with cars in other lanes, so make a habit of checking carefully before changing lanes. Also, always use your turn signals.

Do not use the tailgate. This is another general rule for all riders, but it’s especially important when following a motorcycle. Be aware that many drivers reduce speed by downshifting or easing off the gas, so you won’t see any brake lights even if they slow down. Following at least three seconds behind the bike should give you enough time and space to safely slow down or stop if necessary.

Stay in your file. Obviously, motorcycles don’t take up an entire lane like cars or trucks do. But that doesn’t mean you can cozy up and share lanes with a bike. Just because the driver might hug one side of the track doesn’t mean you can move into that space. Riders are likely doing this to avoid debris, oil on the road or a pothole, so some slight swerving within the lane is to be expected. Do not enter the lane with a bicycle.

Keep the insurance cover. If you are involved in an accident with a motorcyclist, personal injury costs can be high. Make sure you have adequate auto insurance liability limits to cover damages and injuries you may cause.

Consider motorcycles. Getting into the habit of always looking for bikes when you drive will make the above tips a matter of course and make you a better rider. To adapt it, think of your friends and family members riding bikes and then driving as if they were on the road with you. Motorcyclists – and everyone else – will thank you.

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