More and more bikes are hitting the road as the spring weather continues to warm up.  That's why May Is "Motorcycle Awareness Month", and the NHTSA has provided tips for both motorists and motorcyclists to stay safe and share the road.Here's what the National Highway Traffic and Safety Adminstration provides for tips on safety for motorists:

• Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.

• Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.

• Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.

• Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.

• Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo¬torcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.

• Allow more following distance - three or four sec¬onds - when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer¬gency.

• Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.

• Never drive while distracted.

Of these suggestions, the ones that bother me most when I'm on my motorcycle is people that come into your lane and try to share it, and those that tailgate.  You can stop a motorcycle on a dime, much faster than a car.  If you're riding my bumper and a deer jumps out in front of me, you have no chance to stop in time without hitting me.  None.

Motorcyclists also have responsibilites too.  Drive like your invisible, because sometimes nobody can see you!

• Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions;

• Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet;

• Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it;

• Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;

• Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity;

• Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers; and

• Never driving while impaired.


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