Motorcyclists involved in crashes are nearly 28 times more likely to die than people in passenger vehicle crashes, per miles traveled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One of the most common scenarios in these crashes: cars turning left into the path of oncoming motorcycles.

In order to keep them—and you—safe on the road, it’s vital to understand the challenges motorcyclists face. With the help of these safety tips, you can be better prepared for sharing the road with motorcycles:

Tech and advice to increase motorcycle safety on the road.

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Slow down your decision-making at intersections

If you’re turning at an intersection and your view of oncoming traffic is partially obstructed, wait until you can see around the obstruction. Sufficiently scan for motorcyclists—pedestrians and bicyclists, too—and proceed with caution.

And remember this tip for sharing the road with motorcycles: A motorcycle’s size may cause you to misjudge its speed and distance.

Give motorcyclists extra space

When a motorcycle is in front of you, give it more distance than you would another car—three or four seconds between you and them. Motorcyclists may suddenly change speed or switch lanes to avoid hazards such as potholes, gravel, wet roads, pavement seams, railroad crossings and grooved pavement.

Don’t share a lane

Share the road—not the lane. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle, so don’t try to share a lane with one. And if a motorcycle tries to share the lane with you, safely slow down until you’re behind them—or switch lanes, if you can.

Always check your blind spots

Because of their smaller size, motorcycles can be difficult to spot. Make sure to examine your car mirrors carefully before merging or changing lines, and be sure to use your turn signal when needed.

Be cautious of motorcycle turn signals

Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle—it may not be self-canceling, and the motorcyclist may have forgotten to turn it off. When sharing the road with motorcycles, ensure they’re turning before you proceed.

Know where lane splitting is legal

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rides between two lanes of traffic. Though it might alarm you to see a motorcycle avoid traffic by squeezing between you and another vehicle, it’s actually legal in California, and other states have considered similar laws. Some motorcycle safety rules differ by state, so know what’s legal where you’re driving.

Score Your Driving Habits

It’s important to be a safe driver no matter who is on the road with you. AAADrive in the AAA Mobile app can help you see how safely you’re driving—and where you can improve.

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