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How to Share the Road With Motorcycles


Pass as you would pass a car, and do not pass too close or too fast, as the blast of air can blow a motorcycle out of control.


Signal your intention to turn while watching for oncoming motorcycles.


Allow at least a two-second following distance so the cyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Both cyclists and drivers are more likely to make bad decisions if there is not enough stopping distance or time to see and react to conditions.


Check your blind spots when changing lanes. Cyclists riding alongside a lane of cars are often out of the view of the driver. An unsuspecting driver may change lanes and clip or hit a motorcycle.


Anticipate motorcyclists' maneuvers. A cyclist will change lane position to prepare for upcoming traffic conditions.


Expect and allow room for the rider to adjust to road hazards that you cannot see.


Compensate for difficult driving conditions--rain, wet roads, ice and heavy winds--when the motorcycle's braking and handling abilities are impaired.


Pay extra attention at night. You can easily misjudge distance because the single headlight and single tail light of a motorcycle can blend into the lights of other vehicles.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always dim your headlights as you would for cars and trucks.
  • Motorcycles are easy to miss in traffic. Learn to watch for the narrow profile of a motorcyclist.
  • At intersections, where most collisions and injuries occur, wait until the rider's intentions are absolutely clear (turning or going straight) before you move into the path of travel.

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