If you ride a motorcycle in Dallas, it’s always a bit nerve-racking as you maneuver through rush hour traffic on your way to work or a social event. You’re always on the lookout for other drivers, simply because the trust factor is a resounding zero. Fortunately, motorcyclists aren’t a vindictive bunch, wanting to help drivers understand how to improve rather than becoming enemies. If you’re a motorcyclist, then you already know the unwritten rules you want every motorist to know by heart.
Allow Us to Keep the Formation
Motorcyclists who ride in groups often keep a staggered formation. This alternates the riders in the lane, providing a buffer zone, and significantly reducing the chance of an accident. However, some motorists don’t understand the point of the formation. Merging cars will often burst into the middle of these formations and not only is this rude, but it’s also unsafe. This becomes even more dangerous when a motorist has to swerve into the lane because they waited too long to get over.
Put the Phone Down
Talking on the phone or texting while driving is illegal in many states around the country, but sadly, this doesn’t deter many motorists from actually putting their phone down. When motorists are on their phone, distracted driving skyrockets, and one of the biggest problems is rear-end accidents.
When you rear end a car, you might cause some cosmetic damage or slight mechanical issues, but when you hit a motorcycle, it’s far more catastrophic. Most of the time this can total the bike and send the rider to the hospital with significant injuries. If possible, lock your phone away in the glovebox or center console and don’t touch it until you arrive at your destination.
Check Your Blind Spots
Not checking your blind spot is perhaps the leading cause of collisions between motorcycles and cars. When you’re on a busy street or you hear motorcycles nearby, always check, double check, and triple check your blind spot, whether you’re cruising through Uptown or on your way to Fort Worth. You shouldn’t try to share the same lane with a motorcycle either; instead, wait until there’s an appropriate amount of space behind the rider. It’s far easier for you as a driver to avoid a collision and perform an evasive maneuver than it is for a motorcyclist.
Increase Your Following Distance
Motorcyclists can react far more quickly than other vehicles, so when you’re on the road, you should give them far more following distance. Instead of the typical two-second rule that you use with other vehicles, you should extend the distance to four seconds. At night or in inclement weather, you may want to extend this distance even farther. Not only does it keep you safer, but it also gives motorcycle riders some extra peace of mind.
If drivers were willing to dedicate just a fraction of their time to keeping an eye out for motorcycles, the road would become a safer place for everyone. It won’t happen overnight, but maybe some wishful thinking will help the idea take hold.