Approximately half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve automobiles. Many crashes are caused by motorist’s failure so see a motorcycle in traffic.
Look for motorcyclists. In more than half of all crashes involving motorcycles and automobiles, the other driver didn’t see the motorcycle until it was too late. Drivers are conditioned to look for four-wheeled vehicles; but they don’t expect to see two-wheeled vehicles. A motorcycle’s small size also makes it difficult to see.
Check your blind spots. A motorcycle’s small size allows it to slip into your blind spot easily. Always check for motorcycles before you pull out, change lanes, turn, back up or proceed through an intersection.
Never tailgate a motorcycle (or any other vehicle). Allow yourself plenty of braking distance by adding an extra second to the following distance rule. In inclement weather, double this distance.
Anticipate the motorcyclist’s movements. Although a motorcycle is not as wide as the lane, the rider will use the entire lane as traffic situations and road conditions change. A slight change or debris on the road surface can be a major obstacle for a motorcyclist. Expect the motorcycle to make sudden moves within the lane. Never drive beside a motorcycle in the same lane.
Yield to motorcycles. The small size of a motorcycle can cause you to misjudge the motorcycle’s speed and distance. Before pulling out into traffic, check twice for motorcycles and use extra caution before you pull out in front of one.
Intersections are the most likely place for the motorcycle accident, with the other vehicle violating the motorcycle’s right-of-way, and often violating other traffic controls (i.e., changing lanes, running the light or stop sign, etc.)