Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as automobile drivers. While everyone must follow the same traffic laws, motorcyclists face unusual dangers because they are hard to see, and the motorcycle requires exceptional handling ability. To increase their visibility, many motorcycles have headlights that automatically run when the vehicle is moving.
- When changing lanes or entering a major thoroughfare, make a visual check for motorcycles, in addition to using your mirrors. Motorcycles are small and this allows them to tuck easily into the blind spots of other vehicles.
- Always dim your headlights when approaching a motorcycle as the blinding effect of high-beams is greater for them.
- Motorcycles are entitled to the same full lane width as all other vehicles. Although it is not illegal for motorcycles to share lanes, it is unsafe.
- When preparing to make a turn, make sure you check for motorcyclists and know their speed before turning.
- If you are behind a motorcycle, slow down sooner than you would for a vehicle. Leave plenty of space.
Road conditions that are minor annoyances to you can pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Gravel, potholes or slippery surfaces, and grooved pavement can cause motorcyclists to change speed or direction suddenly. If you are aware of the effect of these conditions and drive with care and attention, you can help reduce motorcycle collisions.
Most states require motorcyclists to have a special license. Motorcyclists have to pass both a written and an on-road test before they can legally drive and are also required to wear a helmet. For the safety of motorcyclists, it is recommended that they slow down at intersections and use hand signals as well as turn signals. Using both signals is essential, as turn signals are not always easily spotted by other drivers on the road.