How To Be Successful Around Other Drivers as a New Rider
Motorcycle riders face numerous hazards while on the road, and one of the most significant dangers comes from other drivers. Drivers of larger vehicles such as cars, trucks, and buses may not be used to sharing the road with motorcycles, and they may not be aware of the motorcyclist's presence. This lack of awareness can lead to accidents if drivers fail to see or anticipate a motorcyclist's movements.
Distracted driving is a common problem among drivers today, and it is particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders. When drivers are distracted by their phones, food, or other distractions, they may fail to notice motorcyclists on the road, putting riders at risk. Riders should remain vigilant and look for signs of distracted driving in other motorists, such as weaving, drifting, or sudden changes in speed. If you notice particularly dangerous movements or feel uncomfortable with the drivers around you, it's important to find alternate routes or remove yourself from their presence as soon as you can.
Failure to yield is another common problem among drivers that can lead to accidents involving motorcyclists. Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists when turning or merging can cause serious accidents. Riders should be aware of the risk of drivers who are turning left across their path, particularly at intersections, and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary. This traffic hazard, in particular, is only dangerous if you let it surprise you. Understanding that people make mistakes and seeing them ahead of time will help keep you calm.
Tailgating is another dangerous behavior that can put motorcyclists at risk. When drivers follow too closely behind motorcycles, they can cause accidents if they rear-end the bike or force the motorcyclist to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Riders should keep a safe distance between themselves and other vehicles, especially in heavy traffic or on highways. This includes the space cushion behind you. You can't control how close people follow, but you can allow impatient drivers to pass you without letting it bother you to continue riding your ride.
Sudden lane changes without checking for motorcyclists in their blind spots can cause serious accidents. Drivers should always check their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or turning, but as we all know, not everybody does this. Stay alert and keep a staggered formation with cars. This makes it hard to hit you by accident and buys you time to react.
Aggressive driving is a significant risk for motorcyclists. Drivers who engage in aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving through traffic, or cutting off other vehicles, pose a significant risk to motorcyclists. Learning how and when to disengage and find alternate routes will keep you safe on the road.
In conclusion, motorcycle riders face a significant risk of accidents from other drivers who may not be aware of their presence or who engage in dangerous driving behaviors. Riders must remain vigilant, stay alert, and be prepared to react to the actions of other drivers on the road. They should also wear appropriate safety gear, maintain their motorcycle in good working order, and follow traffic rules and regulations to reduce their risk of accidents. Drivers of larger vehicles should also be aware of the presence of motorcyclists and drive cautiously, taking extra care to avoid accidents. Ride safe, ride SMART!