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Important tips for sharing the road with motorcycles

It can be difficult enough to share the road with vehicles larger than yours. Motorcycles are considered vehicles, too, even though they are small and much more difficult to see. New York State has a number of laws to help keep motorcyclists safer, but drivers of other vehicles need to be proactive to prevent accidents. Small collisions that would not cause much damage to cars can be deadly on a motorcycle. According the Insurance Information Institute, motorcycle accidents are actually on the decrease, but there are still more than 8.4 million motorcycles on the road.

Drive safe no matter what types of vehicles are around you

When there is a motorcycle on the road around you, give the vehicle plenty of room. It may appear as if the motorcycle only takes up a small sliver on the road, but the vehicle still needs room to maneuver around potholes and other debris. If you do have to pass a motorcycle, make sure it is safe for you to get around the bike. Never pass and immediately turn right. That vehicle might be traveling faster than you realize, which may make it hard for the motorcyclist to stop in time.

Do not get distracted while driving. This means you should not text, eat or have a heated conversation when you are behind the wheel. Keep your mind and eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Make eye contact with drivers if you can. Always check your mirrors and use turn signals.

When you are driving a car and hit the brakes, a light comes on. This tells the drivers behind you that you are stopping. Motorcyclists often downshift, instead of braking when slowing down. If you are following a motorcycle, you should leave more space between you and the vehicle for this reason.

If you see riders not following the rules, let them get by you. Just as not all car drivers are safe, not all motorcyclists follow the rules. You will have to make a judgment call about whether to call law enforcement. More importantly, you should watch out for bad drivers and avoid an accident.

Be aware of your surroundings

Motorcycle accidents often have serious injuries that are life-changing. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is beneficial to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your situation. You can get honest answers about whether you have a case worth pursuing and make sure you get the right treatment for your injuries.

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