Safety on the road: Cyclists & Motorcycle Safety

Blog post co-written by Alex Bakken and Bonita Tucker

The temperatures up and the street sweepers are out. What does that mean? More pedestrians but also cyclists and motorcycles sharing the roads.

Many of us know someone who has the passion for two wheels, or own our own bikes. The people on those bikes are someone’s parents, children, sibling, friend, or loved one and motorcycle collisions are 100% preventable.

Let’s face it when a cyclist or motorcycle gets hit by a car, the riders lose, usually with a lifelong disability or death. Don’t get too down on other drivers though, there is a scientific reason why you may not notice other road users it’s called “Saccadic Masking” and the great news is, there is a way you can change your driving habits, perhaps we should say looking habits, to make sure you see other road users.  Have a look very well-done video put out by the Alliance of British Drivers to show exactly how we can all share the road and get home alive.

  • Remember when passing a cyclist/motorcyclist on any road, give yourself ample space before pulling in front of them again to avoid spraying them with rocks and other road debris.
  • Don’t forget that four wheels are a lot more stable than two, so even though the bike driving around you may seem like they are swerving a lot, they are trying to avoid rough terrain, pot holes, and slippery highway paint.
  • Do not tailgate cyclists/motorcyclists.
  • Understand that cyclist/motorcyclist ride on the driver side (left side) of the lane, as this is proper form to be in the dominant position to ensure that oncoming drivers and those drivers ahead of them can easily see them. 
  • Although some motorcycles can be extremely loud, many are relatively quiet. Do not rely on hearing to know if there is a motorcycle nearby. Use your eyes, check your blind spots and do not rely on your mirrors. Remember to shoulder check; that shoulder check could save someone’s life, and save you, the driver, years of guilt if an incident were to occur.

For more information on motorcycle safety, see the following link.