Since May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, now is a good time to remind your fleet drivers to take extra care to look out for motorcycles.
“Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect month for Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Fatal crashes with motorcycles are on the rise. We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives and make sure we all share the road.”
On a per-vehicle-mile basis, motorcyclists are over 26 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of cars, and five times more likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Of course, warmer weather also means more bicycles on the road. May 16 is Bike to Work Day, so don’t be surprised if your fleet drivers encounter even more bikes on the road this Friday.
Here are some California DMV tips on how to share the road with bicyclists:
- Always look carefully for bicyclists before opening doors next to moving traffic or before turning.
- Allow bicyclists enough room to avoid colliding with vehicle doors that are opened into traffic.
- Merge toward the curb or into the bike lane only when it is safe.
- Do not try to pass a bicyclist just before making a turn. Merge safely where it is allowed, then turn.
- Do not drive in a bike lane unless initiating a turn at an intersection or driveway, and not more than 200 feet in advance.
- Make a visual check for bicyclists when changing lanes or entering traffic. Bicycles are small and may be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot.
- Be careful when approaching or passing a bicyclist on a multi-lane highway.
Here are some NHTSA tips on how to share the road with motorcyclists:
- Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
- Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
- Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
To watch a California DMV video about sharing the road with motorcycles and bicycles, click on the link or photo above.