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Tips for sharing the road with motorcyclist

Sharing the road is about more than just being aware of other cars and large vehicles. Motorcyclists are in constant danger of sustaining severe damage to their vehicles, or suffering great injury or possibly even death at the hands of drivers of larger vehicles who are unaware of motorcyclists and how vulnerable they can be on the road. Being mindful of some ways you can share the road with motorcyclists can help keep everyone safer and happier as we share the road together.

Motorcycles are often treated as though they are not full vehicles, which is very dangerous. You should always give a motorcycle a full lane, and not "share" a lane adjacent to one. When a motorcycle is ahead of or behind you, be sure to give it plenty of room in case one of you must stop short -- even a small contact with a motorcycle can mean an injury or death for the rider if he or she goes down. Also, be careful to signal your intentions when maneuvering in traffic. Motorcyclist benefit from increased communication because they are far more vulnerable.

Many accidents can occur between a motorcyclist and a driver of a larger vehicle even if the larger vehicle does not come into contact with the motorcycle. A motorcyclist may be forced to over-compensate for another driver's actions, causing severe harm. Be mindful of motorcyclists in your immediate vicinity, especially in your blind spots when making left-hand turn. If weather or road conditions are worsening, be sure to lookout for motorcyclists who may be caught in the elements or more susceptible to slippery or poorly maintained roads.

Taking time and care to watch out for motorcyclists on the road is not just a good policy as a driver - it saves lives. If you have been involved in an accident with a motorcycle, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you protect your rights and explain your options for recovery.

Source: Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, "Drive Aware, We're Out There," accessed Sep. 09, 2016

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