Motorcycle Safety

Now that summer is here, these two-wheel awareness tips will help keep everyone safe on the road.
Meredith Terpstra

Have you seen bumper stickers that say “Start Seeing Motorcyclists” or the new motorcycle awareness license plates that Minnesota now offers? These messages are good reminders that we need to pay special attention to these smaller-sized and more exposed road users.

Most motorcycle fatalities involve a car or truck failing to yield the right of way, and the most common excuse the vehicle driver offers up is that he or she didn’t see the motorcycle coming.

Tips for Driving Around Motorcycles

  • Because of their smaller size, an approaching motorcycle may look farther away than it is. When pulling into traffic, it’s always better to assume a motorcycle is closer than it appears.
  • Be aware that brake lights may not activate when a motorcycle is slowing down. Motorcyclists often decrease their speed by shifting to a lower gear or letting off the throttle.
  • Motorcycles need a full lane to operate safely and often adjust their position within the lane to avoid potholes, windblasts, or to be more visible in traffic.
  • Always look over your shoulder when making lane changes or merging onto highways and freeways. Don’t just depend on your mirrors. Motorcycles can be hidden by a car’s pillar or even a head restraint.

When you see a motorcycle, think of the person who is riding it—they are your friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members. Remember to take the extra precautions to help keep motorcyclists safe, so those people can remain a big part of your life.