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Tips for safely sharing the road with motorcycles

With warmer weather and summer quickly approaching, motorcyclists may begin to take advantage of the fair conditions across New York. As cars and trucks become accustomed to once again sharing the road with motorcycles, all drivers can take safety precautions to prevent accidents and keep both motorcyclists and other drivers safe.

What motorcyclists can do to stay safe

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 5,172 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2017. While this number decreased slightly from 2016, motorcyclists still face constant risks from a number of factors, including sharing the roads with larger vehicles.

In New York, speeding is the biggest contributor to motorcycle accidents. By slowing down, riding responsibly, driving defensively and refraining from distracted driving, motorcyclists can contribute to maintaining both their safety and the safety of the vehicles around them.

What other motorists can do to share the road

Whether you drive a car, SUV, truck or more, here are several tips to safely share the road with motorcycles:

  • Leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles. Motorcycles may be slower or quicker to react or brake, depending on the conditions.
  • Check your blind spots twice. While you may think you checked for vehicles before turning or changing lanes, motorcycles may be more difficult to spot.
  • Adjust your driving based on conditions. In rainy or other inclement weather, give motorcycles more space than usual to drive safely.
  • Yield to oncoming motorcycles. Many fail to correctly assess how fast a motorcycle is approaching. Avoid turning quickly in front of a motorcycle.
  • Drive defensively and responsibly. Consistently practice safe driving techniques, including refraining from using your phone while driving.

Due to the size, lack of comparative protection and decreased visibility of motorcycles, accidents can lead to devastating injuries for all involved, especially the motorcyclist. By staying alert, leaving space between yourself and other vehicles and driving defensively, both motorcyclists and other drivers can take steps to travel safely on New York roads.

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