3 tips that can help drivers better share roads with motorcycles

People in four-wheeled, enclosed vehicles cause a lot of motorcycle crashes. While motorcyclists do contribute to collisions through bad driving choices, much of their risk is outside of their control because it comes from people in bigger vehicles.

As temperatures rise in the spring, the number of motorcycles on the road will increase. As someone in an enclosed motor vehicle, your risk of suffering severe property damage or injuries by crashes is lower than the risk that the motorcyclists have. Still, it can be traumatizing to experience a crash even if you don’t personally suffer permanent injuries.

How can you potentially reduce your risk of causing a crash with the motorcycle?

Actively look for two-wheeled vehicles

After motorcycle crashes, people frequently claim that they didn’t see the motorcycle. Even attentive, responsible drivers may feel like a motorcycle came out of nowhere before a collision.

In reality, the motorcycle was likely clearly visible leading up to the wreck. Inattentional blindness is the medical term for a driver’s inability to notice smaller, less-threatening vehicles like motorcycles. Your brain doesn’t deem the motorcycle a safety risk, so it doesn’t focus on the motorcycle.

The only way for you to counteract this known psychological phenomenon is to actively look for motorcycles on the road. If you always double-check for motorcycles before merging or turning, you will drastically reduce the risk of hitting a motorcycle by accident.

Give motorcycles more space

Motorcycles are more agile than larger vehicles and are often capable of traveling at faster speeds. However, small mistakes might mean that someone takes a spill in the middle of the road, which you might make worse if you are in the lane directly next to them or following too closely.

Giving motorcyclists as much space as possible can help you not only avoid a crash if they are irresponsible in how they maneuver but can also help you avoid contributing to and exacerbating a spill they cause on their own.

Brush up on the rules of road sharing

Kentucky state law requires that you give motorcycles the same respect that you would give any other vehicle and that those motorcycles follow traffic laws as well. When you understand and comply with traffic laws, you are less likely to make mistakes that could result in a collision.

Being actively aware of motorcycles on the road can help you prevent motorcycle crashes that can lead to permanent injury for the rider and major financial consequences for the car driver involved.


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