Driving a vehicle?
- Motorcycles are entitled to the full width of their lane. Motorcycles don’t take up as much lane space as car or 4 x 4 truck, but they need to use the entire lane, often adjusting lane positions to avoid road debris and to respond to wind direction changes & gusts, avoid pot holes or simply to see what’s up ahead as they prepare to pass a vehicle.
- Blind spots: If you are thinking about any lane change; use your turn signal and ensure that you look in your mirror, over your shoulder and do that a second time – LOOK TWICE to SAVE a LIFE!
- As Yosemite Sam would say; “Back off” and leave some room: Leaving some distance between your car /pick up truck/SUV and other vehicles is very important for the safety of you and your passengers. Motorcycles are small in profile and therefore it is harder to gauge their distance. There is always potential to be rear ended at a red light and while most likely the result would be a fender bender between passenger vehicles, the situation can become a whole lot more dire when a motorcycle is involved.
- Look TWICE: Because of their smaller stature, motorcycles can appear farther away than they actually are. They can also be hidden from your view behind other larger vehicles. Left hand turns by automobiles are one of the most frequent crashes that take place between passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
- Hazardous road conditions:Dangerous road conditions; slippery roads, rain, hail or unexpected snow/sleet, uneven payment, debris on the road, potholes and road snakes are common causes of motorcycle crashes. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks; they have less stability on the highway and are often greatly affected by less-than-ideal road conditions. Give that motorcyclist some space.
Riding a motorcycle?
- Avoid riding in the centre of your lane when traffic slows: You need to have a quick exit strategy when traffic suddenly comes to a halt. Stay to either the left or right hand side of your lane. This allows you to have an escape route should you have a driver who does not appear to be able to stop.
- Being seen and protected is YOUR JOB: Wearing reflective clothing and/or bright colours can help other drivers see you. Wearing a good helmet, gloves, footwear and riding jacket and pants/chaps can often play a big role in whether or not you walk away from a crash.
- Create as much space around yourself as possible: If you are on a highway with three lanes of traffic all flowing the same direction, don’t ride in the middle lane, ride in either the left or the right lane, thereby eliminating one potential for danger and allowing you a bit of a buffer zone.
- Cancel your signals. Just finished turning? If your motorcycle is not equipped with self-cancelling signals, you’ll need to remember to cancel them or run the risk of sending out false messages to the other drivers around you.
- Make sure your motorcycle is in good repair: Tires are one of the most important safety features of a motorcycle as you only have two of them keeping contact with the road. Over inflated tires can overheat quickly reducing traction, and the contact point with the pavement becomes very small. With underinflated tires your steering becomes very sluggish, and the potential of damaging the rim or tearing up the tire becomes a threat. Check your signals, headlight, fluids, brakes, cables, belts and chains as well.