As a motorist, you may use safe driving practices when sharing the road with other Tennessee drivers. Driving safely around motorcycles, however, may be a bit more challenging. Motorcycles are harder to see and can easily hide in traffic behind larger vehicles. In 2013, motorcycle accident fatalities outnumbered auto accident deaths by 26 times, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. In order to minimize the chances that you may become involved in a motorcycle accident, it is critical that you understand how to spot and maneuver around motorcycles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drivers should always double and triple check their blind spots before making lane changes and pulling out in traffic. Motorcycles can hide in blind spots due to their smaller size, and may make quick lane changes in front of cars.

It can also be difficult for motorists to judge the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle. A number of motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers who fail to yield to motorcyclists’ right-of-way, or pull out directly in front of a biker. It is critical that drivers wait before making a turn or pulling out into traffic. Keep in mind that not all motorcycles are equipped with turn signals. While motorcyclists should use hand signals to indicate a turn in these situations, not of all of them do. When you see a motorcycle, watch for sudden lane changes and be prepared to react.  

This information is intended for educational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice.