The truth is that many drivers tend to disregard the safety of motorcyclists. Maybe this is not intentional, but it happens. All vehicle drivers need to take steps to maintain safety for everyone around them, including motorcyclists. Here, we want to discuss 10 tips for safely sharing the road with motorcyclists in Texas.
1. Watch Blind Spots
Every vehicle on the roadway has a blind spot, and this can be dangerous for motorcyclists. Drivers and vehicles should always check their blind spots when making a lane change or turning, but they need to be extra cautious if they think there is a motorcycle around them. The size of a motorcycle allows these vehicles to easily fall into blind spots.
2. Be Careful in Bad Weather
When it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or even just windy outside, this can present significant challenges for motorcyclists. We strongly encourage all drivers to remain careful when the weather is bad, especially if there is a motorcycle in the vicinity.
3. Leave Room in Front
Vehicle drivers should leave space between themselves and any motorcyclists in front of them. In general, it is good to leave at least four or five seconds of distance between yourself and any motorcyclist in front of you. That way, you can take appropriate measures to stop or change lanes if the motorcyclist encounters an issue.
4. Make Eye Contact at Intersections
A significant number of motorcycle accidents, and accidents in general, occur at intersections. When you approach an intersection, obey all traffic laws, look both directions for traffic, and then proceed cautiously. If there is a motorcyclist in your vicinity and you are waiting for them to turn or for you to turn, make eye contact with them so that you know that they know you see them.
5. Be Courteous
Even if you get a little bit aggravated on the roadway, this can impair your driving ability. To avoid road rage incidents, it is better to just be nice to everybody around you. If you get cut off, give the other driver the benefit of the doubt that they were not doing it intentionally.
6. Pass Motorcycles Safely
When passing a motorcyclist, do so just like you would any other vehicle, but exercise additional caution. Make sure to use your turn signals before passing and then again if you need to get back into a lane in front of the motorcyclist.
7. Turn Off High Beams
In general, it is best to leave high beams off unless you are the only one on the roadway or unless they are absolutely needed. Anytime there is oncoming traffic, especially a motorcyclist, you should turn your high beams off when they are at least 500 feet from you.
8. Watch for Lane Splitting
the practice of lane splitting, where a motorcyclist travels down the center lane of traffic in between vehicles going in the same direction, is generally not legal in most places, but it is legal in some states. If you see a motorcyclist coming down the center lane between your vehicle and the lane next to you, do not panic – let the motorcyclist go past you. Do not try to stop the motorcyclist and do not interfere with their forward motion.
9. Avoid Left-Turn Crashes
When you make a left turn, this typically means crossing a lane of oncoming traffic. You need to be extra cautious if you see any oncoming motorist, including an approaching motorcyclist. Only turn if you have enough space to do so safely before the oncoming traffic reaches you.
10. Stay Calm
At all times on the roadway, you should remain calm. If you see motorcyclists in the vicinity, go ahead and expect that there will be some loud noises that may disturb you or others in your vehicle. Do not let this distract you from operating your vehicle. If you experience a collision, don’t panic and contact a motorcycle accident attorney in Houston for assistance with your case.