There are many more cars, vans and lorries on our roads than motorcycles and drivers' attitudes towards motorcyclists vary considerably. Most fail, often unintentionally, to anticipate the behaviour of a motorcyclist or the fact that they are actually on the road.
Sadly motorcyclists are 45 times more likely to be killed than a car driver and the figures are rising. As a motorist, you can help lower this statistic by becoming more motorcycle aware.
- Be alert - motorcycles can be on any road at any time so always be on the look out for them, particularly at junctions or when overtaking or changing lanes
- Assume that a motorcycle is much closer than it actually is - because of its size, it may look further away
- Don't forget your shoulder checks - regularly look in your mirrors and over your shoulder in the blind spot before merging or changing lanes
- Keep your windows clean - motorcycles can be masked by outside objects such as bushes and fences so dirty windows won't help with visibility
- Don't tailgate - drive at a safe distance and allow more stopping distance behind a motorcycle
- Give motorcycles enough room - they may be smaller but when overtaking, give them as much space as you would a car and remember they need a full lane to ride
- It's difficult to judge a motorcycle's speed and it may seem to be moving faster than it really is
- Motorcyclists will change their position within a lane for a reason not to show off or annoy you - sometimes they need to be seen more easily or they have to deal with debris, passing vehicles or weather conditions
- Be extra vigilant in the dark - it can be more difficult to see a motorcyclist at night, particularly if it's in front of a larger vehicle
Remember, you're bigger than them.