Safety & Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists
Truck drivers and motorcyclists have a little in common – 4 wheelers don’t like us much. I say that, partly, in jest. Also, both truckers & motorcycle riders require special licensing and both need to be more accommodating to the average driver.
Motorcycle riders need to be careful because mistakes by other drivers will adversely affect the motorcycle rider. Motorcycle riders have little protection in case of an accident. Most 4 wheelers are not aware of the way motorcycle riders maneuver; just as the average driver doesn’t understand the maneuvers trucks must do for everyone’s safety. We do have much in common with motorcyclists.
Safety Tips for Trucks and Motorcycles
Motorcycles accelerate quickly and are less visible, which is tricky for big trucks. Difficult to see combined with blind spots is a little maddening. Truck drivers need to take extra care around motorcycles, and motorcycle riders need to take extra care around big trucks.
Here is a few thing for truckers and motorcycle riders to keep in mind:
- Big trucks push a lot of wind and can cause wind sheer behind them at highway speeds. Trucks passing motorcycles should leave extra room before coming back over.
- Trucks have huge blind spots. Motorcycles shouldn’t hang out in trucks blind spots or beside a truck. Motorcycles can be more difficult to see beside the truck because of their smaller size and that increases the chance the truck driver won’t see a motorcycle near the blindspots.
- It’s can be difficult to judge how far away a motorcycle is, or judge it’s speed, in our mirror. This is due to the narrow profile of the motorcycle. Use extreme caution when moving in front of a motorcycle. Conversely, when you see a big truck signaling its intent to change lanes in front of you, give it some room to do so. Racing big trucks is a foolish activity.
- Motorcycles often slow down by downshifting or by simply coming off the throttle. They often don’t require the use of their brakes until just before bringing the bike to a complete stop. This means no brake lights.
- Motorcycle drivers are completely exposed and are vulnerable when stopped in traffic. Big trucks should be courteous when stopping behind them and leave extra room. Don’t crowd them.
- Don’t tailgate a motorcycle. Obviously, truck drivers shouldn’t be tailgating anyone, but leave a little more following distance when traveling down the road.
- Motorcycles split lanes when traffic is stopped or slow – for safety. Being rear-ended while riding a motorcycle is worse than in other vehicles. They justifiably don’t want to be sitting stopped in the lane and at risk of being rear-ended. This really shouldn’t bother anyone as this is one less vehicle length occupied in congested traffic. Therefore, motorcycles lane splitting doesn’t add to the congestion. Lane splitting is legal.
- Motorcycles shift in their lane for safety. They shift in their lane to avoid debris, defend their space, and to make them more visible.
Trucks and Motorcycles Can Share the Road Safely
It comes back to safety basics, courtesy, and defensive driving. Be cautious at all times and keep safety first. No one wants a Truck vs Motorcycle accident, ever.
Want to know a few techniques motorcycle riders use?