SAFETY TIPS ALLOWING MOTORISTS AND MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS TO SAFELY SHARE MICHIGANíS ROADS
CAR AND TRUCK DRIVERS ARE URGED TO:
∑ †† Be aware of cyclists.† After Michiganís long winter, drivers are not accustomed to seeing motorcycle, mopeds and bicycles on the roads.
∑ †† Share the road.† Motorcyclists are entitled to a full lane of traffic, just like another car or truck.† Moped and bicycle riders must stay to the right and share a lane.
∑ †† A safe distance from the motorcycle.† Because of road hazards or other traffic conditions, motorcyclists may have to swerve or stop suddenly.
∑ †† Check your blind spots before turning, changing lanes, backing up or parking.† Many traffic crashes occur because a driver did not check or see the motorcyclist.
∑ †† Be extra alert for motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles at or near intersections.† They are easily overlooked if traffic is heavy or the driver is in a hurry.† Pay particular attention when making left turns across traffic to insure that a motorcyclist may not be coming straight through.
∑ †† Use extreme care in passing.† Because of the smaller size of a motorcycle, a car or truck passing too fast or too close could blow the motorcyclist out of control.† In addition, a vehicle passing too close to a motorcycle, could throw stones or other road debris at the motorcyclist.
MOTORCYCLE OPERATORS ARE URGED TO:
∑ †† Be properly trained and to have a motorcycle endorsement on their driverís license.
∑ †† Keep in mind that weather conditions, road surfaces and fatigue pose greater problems for cyclist that other motorists.
∑ ††† Always wear a helmet.† A good quality helmet which fits properly affords the most protection.† Gloves and boots provide added protection.
∑ †† Wear brightly colored clothing so the motorcyclist is seen by other drivers.† Operation of the motorcycles headlight (standard on most late model motorcycles) also increases the visibility of the motorcycle.
∑ †† Assume that the driver of the other vehicle does not see the motorcyclist.† Always be prepared to take evasive action.† Drive defensively and within the rules of the road.
∑ †† Ride near the center of the lane just outside of the grease strip.† Stay out of other drivers blind spots.
∑ †† When riding in a group, do not ride two abreast in a single lane.† Ride in a staggered formation, allowing a safe distance between motorcycles to maneuver in an emergency.
∑ †† Avoid excessive speed when operating the motorcycle.† Slow down at night and during inclement weather, when visibility is usually reduced.
∑ ††† Avoid alcoholic beverages when operating the cycle.† Be aware that over the counter drugs as well as prescription drugs may have effects on the motorcyclist such as making them drowsy.
∑ ††† Keep your motorcycle in good operating condition, using the safety and maintenance checks listed in the ownerís manual as a guide.† When it comes to preforming those maintenance items, if the motorcyclist does not have a good understanding of mechanical maintenance techniques or lacks the appropriate tools, they should seek the help of a trained service professional.
For information on a rider safety course near you, contact the Motorcycle Safety Foundation by calling 1-800-446-9227 or visit the Michigan Department of State web site for training information.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Michigan.† Letís have a safe and enjoyable riding season by sharing the road together.