Nice weather means more bikes and motorcycles

Nice weather in the Puget Sound region means even more motorcycles and bicycles on the roads than you would normally see.

These two wheeled (and sometimes three) forms of travel are different than any other type of vehicle. First, they’re more difficult to see because of their small profile. Second, for bicycles at least, they make little sound to warn you of their presence. Finally, because of their small size, they will often be in spaces other drivers may not expect them to be.

Unfortunately, as any firefighter or police officer will tell you, when a bicycle or motorcycle is involved in a crash with a car or other vehicle, the result is often tragic for the rider.

Here are some tips for drivers to help them avoid a crash with a rider.

1. Because of their small size, bikes and motorcycles can appear further away than they actually are in your mirrors.

2. Again, because of the size of a bike, they are easily hidden in a mirror’s blind spot or by other objects such as another vehicle or something stationary.

3. Motorcycles are fast and can approach your vehicle quicker than you expect, so watch their approach carefully before moving in front of them.

4. Motorcycles are relatively light weight. Be aware that if you drive a large vehicle such as a SUV or RV the air currents created by your movement can push or pull at a rider.

5. Drivers should be aware that motorcycles often slow down by downshifting, meaning that their brake lights may not come on even though they are slowing down.

6. Motorcyclists will position themselves in their lane based on conditions and may be closer to one side or another of that lane.

7. Be aware that children riding bikes can act very unpredictably and should be given a wide berth.

8. Remember – where there is one child on a bike, you should expect more children on bikes.

9. Drivers should take extra care and watch for bicyclists when near schools and…

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