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When Driving Behind a Motorcycle, Drivers Must [Do This]

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Motorcycles operate differently compared to cars. You can take a few precautions if you’re following a motorcycle and want to avoid a collision. People are unaware and often surprised when you tell them about these precautions when driving behind a motorcycle.

Motorcycle riders on the roadways have the same rights and must follow the same traffic laws as other drivers. However, motorcycle riders face additional dangers due to their size, handling, and visibility.

Every driver’s responsibility is to share the road with other drivers of all vehicles. If you’re curious about what you need to do when as a car driver following behind a motorcycle, here are a few general rules to live by:

  • If you’re riding in a car behind a motorcycle, you should increase your following distance.
  • More space for the motorcycle means you have more room and time to react to unexpected emergencies, such as when a vehicle unexpectedly brakes or falls off a bike.

Here are additional tips to follow when sharing the road with a motorcycle rider:

  • You must share the road. A motorcycle rider needs the same amount of space as a car driver to get around.
  • Motorcycles with flashing turn signals require a longer following distance. When approaching a right-hand turn, wait to see if the motorcyclist will turn, so you’ll have enough time to react if he starts turning (or not).
  • Some road and traffic conditions can cause motorcycles to quickly change their speed or lane position. These include potholes, wet or icy surfaces; pavement seams; railroad crossings; and grooved pavement. These road conditions may be inconvenient for you, but they can be deadly for a motorcycle rider, so you should give them some room.
  • We all know that motorcycles can stop faster than cars, but did you know that motorcycles can stop slower than cars when it’s raining out? You should give yourself more time to react in the event of a sudden stop so that you don’t rear-end a motorcycle rider.
  • Look in all directions during left turns. Before turning, you should watch oncoming traffic, especially vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. Car accidents are dangerous to everyone, especially motorcyclists. They’re much more challenging for you to avoid, and if you strike a vehicle head-on, the resulting injuries can be severe. 
  • Motorcycles are easy to miss as they often fit into your blind spot. Make sure you see motorcycles coming at you by looking in all your mirrors. Automobiles have become more technologically advanced than ever before, and most new cars have these safety features built-in. However, nothing beats the old fashioned “over the shoulder glance” when it comes to seeing what’s happening behind you.
  • When a motorist passes a motorcycle, they might get thrown off balance. Use your turn signal before merging into traffic so the bike can prepare to stay in its lane and not be thrown off balance. Ensure that you are at least three car lengths ahead of the motorcycle before returning to your lane when passing.
  • Adverse weather conditions can significantly impact motorcyclists’ safety. Rain, snow, and wind can substantially affect everyone’s visibility, making it harder for motorcyclists to see other drivers, pedestrians, and surroundings.
  • You can help motorcyclists stay safe by keeping a safe following distance, turning your lights off when you notice them coming up behind you, and refraining from passing.
  • If you’re driving a large vehicle like a pickup or SUV, you might feel more aggressive when a motorcycle is in your way. It’s best to avoid following too closely when getting someone to go faster or get out of your way. If you try and intimidate or surprise them, it could result in a loss of balance followed by a crash.
  • Be mindful of intersections, especially if you have a motorcycle ahead of you. Remember that bikes slow down and stop a little differently from cars. For this reason, you need to be alert when a cycle starts to decelerate until they reach a complete stop at the intersection.  Every time you approach a meeting, make sure you follow the proper safety procedures. Slow down, stop, pay attention, and heed all traffic signals and signs. Keep a keen eye out for oncoming traffic and drive at a safe pace.
  • You’ll want to give your full attention to driving. Even a momentary distraction such as answering the phone or switching the radio station can result in deadly consequences.
  • Know and understand their hand signals. Motorcycle riders use hand signals to help indicate their next move. So, it helps to research these hand signals so you will understand what the rider might be signalling about.  
  • Always exercise caution when riding motorcycles because many motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. Always observe traffic signs and signals, and be careful when approaching an interaction. At the very least, it’s good to do what you can to help keep motorcycle riders safe while sharing the road. If you know the rider, it’s a good idea to make sure that you look them in the eyes and give some gesture that lets the rider know that you will make a turn in front of them.

Safety is everyone’s concern.

It’s possible to make the roads safer for everyone before you get in your car. With the right amount of car insurance coverage, for example, you could be reimbursed for the costs of an accident involving a motorcycle.

Motorcycle driving safety entails knowing the laws and rules and being aware of other riders on the road. These guidelines may assist you in anticipating their actions, avoiding accidents, and possibly saving someone’s life.


Sharing the road with a motorcycle rider is a different experience. It can be difficult for you to anticipate the rider’s actions. Knowing when and how fast they’re moving can be a challenge. So, you should follow the advice in this article and always look for a safe place to pass.

Further, you should stay at least a car length away and give the rider plenty of room to move out.

Driving safely is the best way to avoid an accident. It’s best to be alert and always be aware of your surroundings. You should look for other cars and other people on the road. You should be up to hand signals and be careful when approaching intersections. It’s also important to know the road rules and always follow them.