Increase Your Motorcycle Awareness

Motorcycle Awareness


Over two-thirds of car-motorcycle crashes are caused by drivers, not by motorcyclists. The driver either does not see the oncoming motorcyclist at all or does not see the motorcyclist in time to avoid a crash.

Tips for Drivers:

Why Didn’t I See That Motorcycle?

Drivers tend to look for other cars, not motorcycles.

Because of its smaller profile, a motorcycle is harder to see and you may find it more difficult to estimate the motorcycle’s speed.

The motorcyclist’s riding pattern is different from your driving pattern. Different actions may be needed for the same driving or highway situation. For example, you may ignore a piece of road debris as a driver; however, that same piece of road debris may be deadly for a motorcyclist.
Traffic, weather, and road conditions require a motorcyclist to react differently than a driver, thus it is more difficult for you to judge and to predict cues that may require the motorcyclist to take an evasive action.

What Are Some Situations When Crashes Are Most Likely to Occur?

Car making a left turn: You are attempting a left turn in front of a motorcycle operator.

Riding in your blind spot: A motorcyclist is riding in your blind spot and you may not see the motorcycle. Additionally, you may fail to adequately check blind spots before changing lanes or making turn.

Hazardous road conditions: Potholes, wet leaves, railroad tracks and other road obstructions may dictate that a motorcyclist take an action that you may or may not.

Obstructed line of sight: Large vehicles, such as sport utility vehicles, delivery vans, and large trucks may block a motorcycle from your view and the motorcyclist may seem to suddenly appear.

How Can I Become More Aware of Motorcyclists?

Respect the motorcyclist: Remember the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.

Look out: Look for the motorcyclist at intersections, when a motorcyclist may be making a left turn, and on the highway, when a motorcyclist may be changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions.

Anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuver: Obstructions that you do not notice may be deadly for a motorcyclist. Predict evasive actions.

Allow plenty of space: Don’t follow a motorcycle too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.

Where Can I Go For More Information?

American Motorcyclist Association

13515 Yarmouth Drive

Pickerington, OH 43147
Phone: 641/856-1900
Fax: 614-856-1920

Motorcycle Riders Foundation
Phone: 202/546-0983

Motorcycle Safety Foundation
Phone: 949/727-3227

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Phone: 202/366-1739

National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators
Phone: 612/785-9242

(Taken from the NHTSA Site at )

Look twice, save a life.

May is “National Motorcycle Awareness Month”, but it should be every second, of every minute, of every hour of every day…
• RoadSense Tip: Motorcycle Awareness

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