We have seen a significant shift from shared mass commuting, to an increased demand for personal mobility. This has led to a boom in vehicle rentals in the U.S. and as such, car rental companies play a vital role to maintain the safety of their local customers as well as tourists.
How do many motorcycle crashes happen? To answer this, we’ve assimilated this short blog to help the rental driver share the road safely with motorcycles and other vehicles
Motorcycle riders are 26% more likely to die in an accident than someone who is in a car or truck. Now, take that statistic and combine it with the fact that motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians are so darn difficult to see at times, we can clearly see the need to be extra cautious when you are driving a rental vehicle.
As with many things in life, a motorcycle must be respected by its rider and other road users. Finding Nirvana on shared roads begins when drivers recognize that motorcycles and bicyclists share the road with them, and have the same rights as them; they also have to follow the same rules.
If you are looking at renting a car because you think that it is time for you to be able to go wherever, and whenever you need, CarRentalReviews will help you find the perfect rental partner. Here’s how to share the road safely with motorcycles and other vehicles.
6 Tips When You are Not a Motorcycle on the Road
It is good to remember that driving a rental car will more than likely be quite different from what you are used to. Take extra, extra care while you get accustomed to the car’s controls, gauges, and performance. Here are 6 more tips and essentials to know that will help you, and other road users, drive safer:
- Be kind and don’t bully. It doesn’t matter if you drive a Ford F250 or a Prius, you are still larger than most motorbikes on the road. Camping on a rider’s rear tire in an attempt to ‘encourage’ them to move, is dangerous and just plain nasty. It makes braking distances much shorter than they should be. The motorcycle rider may also become stressed as a result, and may pull an unsafe move. Remember that everyone has the same right to drive. When driving behind a motorcycle your following distance should be at least four seconds.
- Check your blind spots twice. The size and speed of motorcycles can cause them to quickly enter and exit your blind spots. Whenever you see a motorcycle out on the road, always look twice.
- Respect others. Take a few deep breaths if you’re annoyed when someone drives too slowly, or if a blinker has been blinking for miles. (Sh) It happens. Exaggerating the negative can lead to dangerous outcomes.
- Left turns should be taken with caution. A left turn can be difficult, especially when there is heavy traffic. Due to sun glare or another vehicle turning left across your path, you may have difficulty seeing. You must also be aware of pedestrians crossing at the crosswalk. Don’t forget about motorcyclists as intersections are among the most common places for motorcycle accidents. A motorcycle’s small size makes it hard to spot so be aware of your surroundings as you turn left. Check again for motorcycles. Turn left safely if everything looks okay.
- Make sure you allow a sufficient following distance. It’s not uncommon for motorcycles to not use their brakes immediately when slowing down, so you won’t immediately see the brake lights flash. A motorcyclist may reduce their speed without ever touching their brakes by relaxing the accelerator or downshifting.
- Concentrate. Pay attention to the environment outside your vehicle while you are driving. Don’t let distractions inside your vehicle distract you. (And yes, you should be sorry for forgetting her birthday!)
- Bad weather has a greater impact on motorcycle riders than on automobile drivers. Rain and winter weather, in particular, can make it nearly impossible for motorcyclists to continue riding. Motorcyclists can have difficulty controlling their vehicles in windy conditions. You should also keep in mind that bad weather can reduce your own visibility and make motorcycles harder to see.
- Don’t stray from the path, or in this case, your lane. Motorcyclists have the right to their own lane. It is not permitted to drive a car in the same lane and within close proximity to a motorcycle. Even if these vehicles appear to be small or if there is a lot of extra space, sharing a single lane with a motorcycle is unsafe and illegal. (Source)
- It is dangerous to ride a motorcycle at night and you can make things a little safer by increasing your following distance when driving behind a motorcycle. Turn off your high-beams when you spot oncoming motorcycle traffic.
- How to pass a motorcycle. Use extra caution when passing. When driving on a section of roadway that allows passing, you may pass a motorcycle just as you would an automobile; however, the gust of wind generated by your increasing speed might cause the motorcycle to become unstable, which could result in the rider being blown off of the road. When passing a slower motorcycle, use your left turn signal to indicate your intent. Before returning to your lane, maintain several car lengths of space ahead of the motorcycle.
Follow These Tips to Share the Road Safely with Motorcycles
Motorcycles should be treated with more respect on the road. Why do you need to visually check for motorcyclists when changing lanes? There are blind spots, and motorcycles can split lanes.
It is important for car drivers to remember they are the bigger fish in the sea and should take every precaution to avoid an accident. Almost all motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle result in serious injuries and often even death to the motorcycle driver. By following these tips, every driver can reduce the number of motorcycle accidents on the road and make our highways safer for all.
A final word on the importance to share the road safely with motorcycles
Car Rental Reviews maintains that you should always drive a rental as if it is your own. Think about another client who may drive that same vehicle soon after you—your driving could have an impact on their safety! That includes the fact that you should share the road safely with motorcycles and all other motorists. Click here to see what your next rental will be!