photo of motorcycles taking off together on a city intersection with cars around with street lights on.

5 tips to help you safely share the road with motorcycles.

Do you know how to coexist with the increased number of motorcycles on the road?

With high gas prices, some motorists are parking their cars and using their motorcycles to commute to work.

A typical motorcycle will get an average of 44 miles per gallon, while an average car gets you around 24.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) motorcycle deaths have increased since 2019. There are a variety of reasons: More cycles on the road, increased road rage, and more distracted driving.

Nationwide Insurance recently did a survey and found:

  1. Drivers are distracted by their phones up to 9 times during a 20-minute commute.
  2. 66% of drivers polled said they know that using a cell phone to talk, text, or use a driving app is dangerous, but over 51% do it anyways.

As a driver, you can take extra precautions to ensure a motorcyclist’s safety, as well as your own.

  1. Put your cell phone down.
  2. Practice mindful driving.
  3. Always check your blind spots!
  4. Be extra cautious when passing a motorcycle.
  5. Use your blinkers to inform a motorist of your intent to turn or change lanes.
  6. When making a left turn, do a double take.

As the driver of a car, truck or SUV you have a responsibility to take precautions and do your part to share the road with motorcyclists and ensure you’re doing all you can to ensure their safety.

Here are some tips:

  1. Put your cellphone DOWN. As stated in the Nationwide survey above, we know that checking our cellphone is dangerous, but we do it anyways. To help yourself and motorcyclists stay safe, keep your cell phone down while driving.
  2. Practice mindful driving. A lot is going on in our world that can have us taking more risks than normal when driving, such as driving faster, abruptly changing lanes to get somewhere faster, or simply being preoccupied with all the worries of the world. Challenge yourself to be present while driving. Look for motorcycles on the road ahead of you, beside you, and behind you. When you make the conscious choice to notice, you’ll see there are a lot more motorcycles on the road than you thought there were. Take note of how close you are to other vehicles, how your car seat feels on your back, feel your hands on your steering wheel, and feel the speed of your vehicle. Before getting angry at someone who cut you off, stop yourself from stepping on the gas, take a deep breath to be calm, and ask yourself “will this matter in a month or even by the time I get to the next traffic light?” 
  3. Always check your blind spots. This possibly is the major reason for accidents involving a car and motorcycles. Motorcycles fit nicely in our most common blindspots, making it really easy to miss them. When merging or changing lanes, check for motorcycles and don’t rely on your mirrors as a motorcycle can easily blend in with trees, buildings, and other nonmoving elements we dismiss in our mirrors. 
  4. Be extra cautious when passing a motorcycle. Motorcycles weigh a lot less than cars, trucks, SUV’s and vans. When you pass a motorcycle remember as you speed up and pass it creates a bit of wind for the motorcycle which may make the motorcyclist a bit unstable. Before you get in front of the motorcycle make sure that you’ve turned on your blinker letting them know you’re merging in front of them. 
  5. Use your blinkers. When you’re in front of a motorcycle or any car for that matter, using your blinker when you’re going to turn helps the driver behind you know to slow down, and it decreases pile-ups on the road. Getting rear-ended by a car is horrible for both drivers, but it’s more likely to be fatal for a motorcyclist. When you brake without warning and a motorcycle behind you, they have nothing to protect themselves besides their helmets. 

If you have any questions about motorcycle, vehicle or any insurance please be sure to contact us.

We at Dunford Insurance care about your safety, always. What matters most to you matters most to us. 

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