Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles: Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles information from NHTSA.

Sharing the Road with Motorcycles information from NHTSA.


  • Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any vehicle on the roadway.


  • Allow the motorcyclist a full lane width. Although it may seem as though there is enough room in the traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle, remember the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane.


  • Approximately one-half of all motorcycle crashes involve another motor vehicle. Nearly 40 percent were caused by the other vehicle turning left in front of the motorcyclist.


  • Motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see. Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than vehicles, which can make it more difficult to judge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle.


  • Always signal your  intentions before  changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.


  • Remember that motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors  and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.


  • Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle—motorcycle signals usually are not self- cancelling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.


  • Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to you pose major hazards to motor- cyclists. Motorcyclists may change speed or adjust their position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.


  • Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, following a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.