About 15% of crashes on Maryland roads involve motorcycles. When these crashes also involve a car, the car’s driver is at fault more than 50% of the time. Most often, the driver says they didn’t see the motorcycle in time, if they saw them at all. Certainly, remaining as visible as possible is partly the responsibility of the motorcyclist. They must wear the proper gear, follow motorcycle safety laws, and choose safe lane positions. Part of the responsibility also belongs to the car driver, however.
Share the Road and Save a Life
Motorcyclists have as much right to be on the roads as you do. Remember to look twice for motorcyclists so that everyone can get to theirdestinations quickly and safely.
Check Your Blind Spots
Being so much smaller than a car, it’s easy for motorcycles to slip in and out of your blind spot. Ideally, they choose the lane position that keeps them most visible, but you should always double check before changing lanes.
Motorcycles May Be Closer Than They Appear
Being smaller can also make a motorcycle’s distance from you more difficult to gauge. Give them extra space, always assuming they’re closer than they seem.
Always Use Your Turn Signal
Motorcycles often change their position in a lane to stay visible, but also to keep a safe distance from vehicles and other hazards. Indicate your intentions using your turn signal to help them anticipate where your vehicle is moving.
Pass With Extra Caution
You wouldn’t drive close to a pedestrian, would you? Motorcyclists are just as exposed. Sudden gusts of wind from the sides of vehicles can also disrupt their balance, so keep your distance while passing.
Never Enter a Motorcycle’s Lane
Although motorcycles don’t take up the full width of a lane, they’re entitled to that entire space. You should never enter a motorcyclist’s lane to pass or for any other reason.
Increase Your Following Distance
Motorcycles are more responsive than other types of vehicles, accelerating and stopping much more quickly. Rear-ending a motorcycle is likely to be fatal, so always increase your following distance, especially at night.
Watch for Motorcycles at Intersections
If you see an oncoming motorcycle at an intersection, take extra care, especially when turning. It’s not always easy to gauge their distance or speed accurately. When in doubt, wait. Do not take a chance and cut them off. It’s not worth risking a deadly crash.
Think of Motorcyclists as People
…because they are! Share the road, be courteous, and understand that they are also doing their best to stay safe. Respect their right-of-way and also their right to have a safe ride on Maryland roads.