by Liz Jansen
Now that motorcycles, like spring, are out in full bloom, here are a few helpful reminders to help us stay safe and arrive home safely. We share the road with all manner of vehicles and all of us have a right to be there. Other than bicyclists, we’re the most vulnerable.
Non-motorcyclists may not be aware of how their actions jeopardize our safety. Here are a few helpful reminders.
10 Tips for Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
- Please put your smart phones, make-up and on-the-go meals away. We have a bird’s eye view of what goes on in cars and it’s scary.
- Stay in your lane. It is not OK for oncoming traffic to move into our lane when passing a bicyclist. True, we’re very maneuverable, but we can’t always dodge out of the way. We position ourselves for safety, maneuverability and visibility — and own the lane we’re in just as a car does.
- Try and keep all four tires on the pavement on backroad curves. Dropping off onto the gravel shoulder kicks stones up onto the pavement. They’re like marbles and cause us to lose traction.
- Understand we’re not cool. We get uncomfortable in hot weather when we’re stuck in traffic, surrounded by cars with windows tightly closed to keep in the air conditioning. Wise riders wear full gear all the time, however even with summer weight gear, it’s sweltering out there!
- If you can avoid it, don’t pick the time a motorcyclist is directly behind you to use your windshield washer.
- Never throw trash and cigarette butts out the window. Especially when a motorcyclist is behind you. Riders have been burned by cigarette butts stuck in their helmet.
- Confirm our intent when we’re signalling. Many motorcycles do not have self-cancelling turn signals and riders can forget to turn them off.
- Respect our space. We like to keep a buffer in front of us to allow time to react to traffic. If you don’t see the ladder or exhaust pipe across the lane until the last minute, you can still get over it. Not so likely for us.
- Don’t tailgate. We can stop a lot faster than you can. We don’t want to be your hood ornament.
- Double check mirrors and blind spots. We’re a lot smaller than other vehicles on the road and harder to see
Thank you. If we all consider each other’s needs, our own vulnerabilities and operate our vehicles accordingly, the roads will be a much safer place for all of us.
- Cars vs. motorcycles: Can’t we all just get along? – Lorraine Sommerfeld, Globe & Mail
- 10 Things all Car and Truck Drivers Should Know about Motorcycles
- For Car Drivers
Pulled out of the archives from last year, this message bears repeating – often!