In 2020 during the pandemic, motorcycle and scooter sales shot up 11.4%, according to AAA. That means more bikers are hitting the road, especially in the spring and summer, and fleet drivers should look to safely share the road with them.
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than vehicle drivers. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely than people in cars to die in a traffic crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The fact is motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes —with 5,014 lost lives in 2019 alone, according to NHTSA.
May is national Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month — the ideal time for fleet managers to remind drivers of best safety practices when encountering bikers on the road.
To anticipate and respond to motorcyclists, drivers need to understand the safety challenges they face, such as size and visibility, and motorcycle riding practices like downshifting and weaving. By raising awareness with your fleet drivers, everyone will be safer on the highway and byways.
Here are some specific tips that AAA recommends to automotive drivers:
- Motorcyclists can be hard to spot. Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcyclists before entering or leaving lanes of traffic and at intersections. Most multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when drivers simply didn’t see the motorcyclist.
- Always signal before changing lanes or merging. Be patient and allow enough time to determine a motorcyclist's intent before you proceed.
- Increase following distance behind motorcycles and provide time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Never try to share a lane with motorcycles. They have the same right tolanes as any other vehicle.