Although the arrival of fall has pushed many riders to put their bikes away, there are still a few motorcycles out on the roads. Here are some tips for sharing the road with our fellow drivers of the two-wheeled variety:
Because of their small size relative to cars, motorcycles look much farther away than they actually are. When at an intersection or when being passed by a motorcycle, assume that the motorcycle is closer than it looks.
Also because of their size, motorcycles can be completely hidden in blind spots. Check both blind spots thoroughly when switching lanes. Motorcycles can also be obscured by other moving objects, especially SUVs.
Motorcycles commonly slow down by downshifting rather than using the break. Therefore a motorcycle may slow down without its break lights coming on. Allow extra following space when behind a motorcycles to account for this.
Unlike cars, motorcycles do not have self-cancelling turn signals; sometimes a rider’s signal will remain on even when they are not making a turn. Keep this in mind and be patient (especially with young, less experienced riders)
Although portrayed differently in action movies, motorcycles can not stop “on a dime”. In fact, in poor weather conditions, motorcycles generally take longer to stop than cars, as it is easy to lose control with only two wheels. Never tailgate a motorcycle, even on town roads.
Before you use your car’s spray-clean feature to clean your windshield on the road, check to see if there is a motorcyclist behind you. They will not appreciate suddenly entering a rainstorm of dirty windshield fluid that will form behind your car.