Share the road safely

Published 8:56 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Periodically on this page, we may repeat certain safety tips, whether it be about driving, heat, holiday safety and so forth. While this may seem repetitive, we feel it’s better to avoid tragedy with a timely reminder for our readers.

An alarming number of crashes involving motorcycles seem to be happening across the Hampton Roads area lately, and several have caused the death of the motorcyclist.

Lots of motorcycle enthusiasts seem to be soaking up the last days of summer on their bikes, and it’s important that other drivers, particularly those who never ride motorcycles, be reminded of some important safety tips about motorcycles in order to safely share the road.

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The Motorcycle Safety Foundation and other online resources present these tips:

  • Because there are more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle as a car and may unintentionally ignore it. Make sure you look twice.
  • Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots or masked by roadside objects. Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
  • Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is, and it may be difficult to judge its speed. If a motorcycle is approaching, wait for it to pass. The few extra seconds of your time is far better than the alternative.
  • Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting or rolling off the throttle, so the brake light is not activated. Allow more following distance, and expect motorcycles to slow down without visual warning.
  • Turn signals on a motorcycle are usually not self-canceling, so some motorcyclists may forget to turn them off. Make sure a motorcycle’s signal is for real before you act based on it.
  • Use your own turn signals.
  • Allow for more following distance behind a motorcycle.
  • If a motorcyclist is surrounded on three sides by other vehicles, don’t become the fourth. Give them plenty of room to escape the possibility of being boxed in.