5 Tips for Driving Safely Around Motorcycles
– By Pioneer Auto Museum
5 Tips for Driving Safely Around Motorcyclists
Not only does the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally bring in hundreds of thousands of bikers each August, but the beautiful scenery of South Dakota makes it a popular destination among motorcyclists all summer that are seeking an exciting ride while surrounded by a breathtaking view. Yet, visitors and residents alike are often caught off guard by the large influx of bikers that flow into the state each year. Knowing how to safely share the road with bikers is crucial, especially when you consider that multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles accounted for 60% of motorcyclist deaths in 2016. Here at Pioneer Auto Show, we take motorcycle safety seriously and are here to help you prepare for your trip with some suggestions for maneuvering safely around bikers during your South Dakota vacation.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Keeping a cushion between you and the automobile in front of you is always important, but it is even more critical when there are bikers around since motorcycles are able to stop much more quickly than cars. If a biker is rear-ended, they have no protection against being thrown from the vehicle. A four second space between you and a motorcyclist in front of you is usually sufficient, but leave even more room if you are traveling through a construction zone or if there is inclement weather.
Look Twice (or Three Times) Before Turning
The majority of multi-vehicle collisions that involve a car and motorcycle are a result of the car turning directly in front of the biker. Guard against this happening to you by looking at least twice in both directions whether you’re turning left or right.
Check Your Blind Spots Often
With motorcycles being much smaller than other automobiles, it is more difficult to spot them while you are performing actions such as changing lanes. Before you begin to drive, ensure you mirrors are optimally positioned to allow you the most complete view while you’re on the road. While you’re driving, be aware of your blind spots at all times and check them often. And when you plan on switching lanes, turn around to look at your blind spot to be sure you are in the clear before you proceed.
While you may be on a time crunch during your summer vacation in order to fit in all of the attractions your family is begging to see, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to make it from destination to destination. Rushing through traffic makes it more likely that you’ll overlook things like properly checking your blind spot or giving the motorcyclist in front of you enough room, putting everyone at risk. Making sure you stay patient and follow the rules of the road, especially in high-traffic places like Mount Rushmore, helps ensure each visitor can safely enjoy their stay.
Use Your Turn Signals
Although it is always important to use your turn signals to indicate to other drivers your desire to turn, it is especially vital when there are an increased amount of motorcycles with you on the road.
Along the same vein, keep in mind that turn signals on most motorcycles are not self-cancelling like they are in cars, so give yourself a little extra time to determine for sure what a motorcyclist whose turn signal is flashing intends on doing before you make your move.
Following these precautions can go far in reducing the amount of collisions involving motorcycles in South Dakota. While you’re in the area on your South Dakota vacation, stop into Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo to check out our antique motorcycle corner, which includes Elvis’ 1976 Harley Davidson. We’re proud to be central South Dakota’s premier family fun attraction since 1954!