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5 driver tips for sharing the road with motorcycles

Although fatal auto accidents are generally on the decline in Georgia, motorcyclists remain at a significantly higher risk for injury compared to those driving cars, trucks and SUVs. Improving driver awareness of motorcycles on state roads can help reduce this risk.

These best practices help drivers safely share the roads with bikers:

Share the entire road

Remember that motorcycles have the same road rights and responsibilities that come with driving a larger vehicle. That includes the right to take up an entire lane of traffic. Resist the urge to ride alongside or pass a motorcycle rider in the same lane. Doing so can result in a dangerous collision.

Check your blind spot

Because motorcycles are small, they can get lost in your blind spot. This is especially hazardous for those who drive a larger vehicle, such as a full-size truck or SUV. Before turning or changing lanes, check your vehicle’s mirrors and cameras as well as your blind spots. When sharing the road with a motorcycle, signal your intention to turn and leave plenty of space to do so. Even when you are not turning, continually check the roadway to be aware of motorcycle riders in your midst.

Increase your following distance

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration recommends leaving at least four seconds of space when following a motorcycle. Road conditions, inclement weather and other factors can make it more difficult for a motorcycle to stop. Avoid traveling too close when passing a motorcycle. High speeds can cause a wind gust that may lead the rider to lose control.

Proceed cautiously at intersections

A driver turning left in front of a motorcycle traveling straight is a common cause of serious collisions. Before entering an intersection, make sure you have the right of way and that the road is clear to proceed. Always use your turn signal.

Even a minor accident can lead to life-threatening injuries for a motorcycle rider. Protect these motorists by remembering these safety strategies.