Differences Make the Difference
And there are plenty of differences when it
comes to motorcycles and other vehicles be they cars, vans or
trucks. Let's briefly look at a few of the major ones:
- SIZE: It all starts here with 2500 pounds
for an average passenger car vs. 250 - 900 pounds for a street
bike. Add the dimensions of a commercial van or fully loaded
truck and there is no doubt which vehicle is massively dwarfed
by the other. Size is the major reason it's often difficult to
see a motorcycle in traffic.
- VULNERABILITY: It's easy to figure.
Weight + Size + The Lack of a Protective Passenger Compartment =
- MANEUVERABILITY: What motorcycles lack in
pure size they make up for in ease and quickness of
What To Watch For
We're all taught as automobile drivers to stop
for trains, watch for children crossing the street and use our
lights at night. These are motoring basics. However, there are
some unique traffic hazards when sharing the roads with
motorcyclists that prompt a need for more know-how than just the
- blind spots
- passing and being passes
- road conditions and surface hazards
- cracks and holes
- railroad tracks
The Basics For Congenial Co-existence
It's a fact of modern motoring that motorists
and motorcyclists are certain to be sharing the roads in the
future, more not less. Both have a right to use the roadways; both
have the responsibility to make user every driving experience is
equally safe for each other.
- EXPECT TO SEE MOTORCYCLES!
- Be prepared to give motorcyclists plenty
of space and time to maneuver; they will usually go around a
hazard rather than over or through it.
- Expect motorcyclists to move around in
their lane. While a motorcycle only occupies approximately 4' of
a 12' lane, they will use the entire lane as traffic situations
and the environment change.
- Give the motorcyclist the full lane when
- Don't speed up when being passed by a
- Check over your shoulder whenever moving
sideways to insure a motorcycle is not in your blind spot.
- Keep a safe two second following
- Pick a fixed object on or next to the
road (a sign or tree or road marking).
- As the motorcycle passes the object begin
counting "one thousand one,one thousand two".
- You should reach the object after you
count "one thousand two".
- At night, in bad weather, or whenever
road conditions are poor, increase the following distance to
four seconds or more.