Motorcycle Safety Month – Sharing the Road with Bikers

Updated April 23, 2024  |   Published May 17, 2023

May is motorcycle safety awareness month. There are over 160,000 registered motorcycles in Massachusetts. Over 2,000 motorcycle accidents occur every year in the state; 80% of them resulting in a serious injury or death. Earlier in the month, we published a blog with safety tips for motorcycle riders. With that being said, we know that asking motorcyclists to be more safe isn’t the entire equation, when it comes to keeping bikers safe on the road. It is also the responsibility of drivers of automobiles to properly share the road with motorcyclists. Here are some safety tips for drivers that need to share the road.


Mental Strategies

Always check your blind spots

Due to a motorcycle’s size, they are able to blend into a car’s blind spot a lot easier. They’re also more difficult to spot when changing lanes because they can move more quickly than a car. You should take your time before merging and devote several seconds to searching each of your car’s blind spots before deciding it’s a good idea to merge.  You shouldn’t merge before or as you’re checking your blind spots.

Watch for turning motorcycles

Self-cancelling turn signals are still a relatively new piece of technology, as they only became standard in the 1970s. With some bike enthusiasts still driving older motorcycles to this day, you might see a bike or two on the road that has it’s signal on when it’s not  supposed to. In order to be extra cautious, when you see a motorcyclist with their signal on, you should maintain a safer following distance, giving you more time to react.

Take a second look at left-turns

Take a second look at any approaching motorcycles before you take any left turns across oncoming traffic. When a motorcycle T-bones a car, there is more risk for the biker because bikes are completely exposed, as well as the rider themselves. If the biker is travelling at a higher distance, the riskier a car accident becomes. There is no such thing as a “fender bender” for bikers.

Put away your phone

Your phone creates distractions for you while driving. The best way to ensure everyone’s safety on the road is by putting away any distractions, including your phone, and focusing on what’s going on in front of and around you.

Only drive sober

You’ve heard it many times before, and the same applies here: driving under the influence is illegal and can get people injured or killed. If you’re under the influence, or even just tired, you should stay off of the road for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other drivers/bikers.

Talk to young drivers about motorcycle safety

Newer drivers are often unaware of the damage they can cause if they were to hit a biker. Teach them how to properly share the road with bikers and how tot always be alert of their surroundings.

Pay attention in construction zones

Give motorcycles extra space in construction zones so they have an appropriate amount of  time to react to what’s in front of them. Operating a bike gets significantly more difficult in a construction zone, where you could be having to weave around different obstacles.


Passive driving

Be extra cautious when passing

Though it is lawful to pass a bike as you would a car, the gust of wind that is created from your passing the bike can cause the bike to wobble and throw the rider off of the road. Always make sure you’re way past the motorcycle before you return to your lane.

Stay in your lane

No matter how small they are, motorcycles are entitled by law to have their own lane space, and not share it with you. Not only is it a recipe for an accident, but it can cause both a driver and a biker to be very distracted. That’s why you should allow for an appropriate amount of room between you and the motorcycle.

Night riding can be treacherous for motorcycles

Increase your following distance at night and turn your high beams off to ensure that you minimize the risk of hitting a motorcycle or distracting a biker when they ride at night. It’s also a good idea to refrain from passing a bike at night.

Inform motorcyclists of your intention to turn

Signaling earlier than you normally would is a great way to communicate to bikers that you want to turn, and gives them an adequate amount of time to react.

Intersections are danger zones

You should always follow appropriate safety protocol for intersections every single time that you approach one: come to a complete halt, view and obey posted traffic signs and signals, look both ways for approaching traffic, and proceed slowly.

Don’t rely on turn signals

Sometimes, other drivers will make mistakes and forget to turn on their turn signal. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be at a very cautious following distance.

Other Motorcycle Safety Recommendations

Weather warning

Motorcycles become much harder to see when it’s raining out. Rain and wind often make it impossible for bikers to travel from point A to point B, but if there are bikers on the road, be extra cautious in inclement weather.

Adjust your mirrors

Always check your mirrors before you start driving, to ensure blind spots are minimized.

Open doors cautiously

Look behind you before you open the door, if you’re parking on a road with heavy traffic. Otherwise, you could hit a motorcyclist with your door.

Have your passenger(s) watch for motorcyclists

Getting the help of your passengers to watch for traffic is always a great idea. They may see things that you don’t because your eyes are focused on the road in front of you.

Turn down the volume

If you’re blasting music in your car, it would be a good idea to lower the music down so you can hear then motorcycles are approaching. They can be quite loud.


WebFirst Insurance offers insurance on motorcycles, along with other Recreational Vehicles. As this biking season starts up, consider checking out WebFirst Insurance to fulfill your insurance needs. We provide exceptional service and years of insurance knowledge to help find you an affordable rate based on your needs.

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