Ensuring safety of motorcyclists on shared roadways

Motor vehicle accidents involving motorcycles can cause some of the most catastrophic injuries due to the extra vulnerability of two-wheeled drivers and passengers. To ensure motorcyclists in Pennsylvania stay safe on the roads, consider taking the extra initiative to be more mindful of these vehicles while you’re driving.

Taking the extra time and care to accommodate motorcyclists can save lives and make the roads that much safer for drivers and passengers using any vehicles. Here are a few safety tips to consider when sharing a roadway with motorcyclists.

Leave ample space

The amount of space between your vehicle and a motorcycle accounts for the amount of time you’ll have to stop in case of a decrease in speed or roadway hazard. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recommends a few extra seconds of space between cars and motorcycles than between two cars.

Depending on the speed and congestion of traffic, you should keep at least four seconds of following distance between a car and motorcycle. This includes watching for unexpected slow-downs as some motorcyclists will decrease speed by downshifting or releasing the throttle, neither of which will trigger brake light indicators.

Take an extra look

Drivers should always check blind spots before changing lanes no matter which vehicles are around. With the added challenge of smaller vehicles like motorcycles, taking a second look before changing lanes can make all the difference in preventing collisions.

Additionally, always use signals to show impending lane changes and turns. It may sound like common sense, but many drivers fail to do so and make sudden moves with no indication to other vehicle operators.

See the person, not just the vehicle

It’s easy to see other vehicles as machinery and not as other people trying to get from point A to point B just like you. Many motorcyclists take the necessary steps to protect themselves on the roadways, so other drivers can take their own extra steps to ensure the safety of these fellow travelers.

Motorcycle crashes are most commonly collisions with other vehicles. Most often, the driver of a car of truck is at fault when involved in a collision with a motorcycle. Take the little extra time and care to watch for these more vulnerable travelers and keep the roadways that much safer for everyone.