Sharing the road with motorcyclists: 9 tips to frustration-free riding

As a motorcyclist, there’s a thrilling feeling of being untouchable that comes with being able to swoosh through traffic and weave your way around other road users. But, how safe is it? Road safety is a continuous concern on our roads and it is always necessary to consider other road users when on the road.

Many road users may get frustrated with riders, however, these tips can help you share the road with other road users and avoid further frustrations on your motorcycle ride:

  • Time your ride – you may be faster on your two-wheels, but you don’t really know what the next driver is thinking. A good pass on a two-lane road take approximately six seconds, even so, it is important to estimate how far away the next vehicle is, what their next possible move could be and how much time you have to make it through.
  • Don’t tailgate – tempting as it may be to ride on their pull, tailgating could get you hurt should the vehicle in front of you come to a sudden stop. Tailgating doesn’t allow you enough time to react to sudden traffic changes.
  • Be vigilant – don’t just focus on your ride, watch out for the other road users and any sudden change in traffic. Often in peak traffic times, drivers change lanes suddenly to avoid the stacking up in their current lane – this means you need to give away or react appropriately enough to not find yourself injured.
  • Steer clear of certain vehicles – don’t follow obstructive vehicles, trucks or vans etc. that will make it hard for you to see ahead or around a corner. This doesn’t just make it difficult for you to make informed riding decisions, it also makes you invisible to other road users. Rather pull back and maintain a large following distance or let passenger vehicles fill the gap.
  • Give way – there’s nothing wrong with being courteous on the road. Yes, your motorcycle is fast, however, don’t hog the lane and block other motorists from getting ahead of you when you can make way.
  • Consider the curves – when taking a curve, consider the other vehicles around and where possible take the curve from the outside first and delay your turn. This will allow you to see farther and increase your space cushion in left-hand turns.
  • Make your intentions known – the size of your motorcycle may allow you to weave your way through tight traffic situations, however, it is safer to make your intentions known before taking any action. Use your indicators or at the very least, hand signals to notify other drivers of your next action.
  • Don’t get caught in a blind spot – don’t rely on the sound of your motorcycle to notify other drivers that you’re there. Avoid other drivers’ blind spots, keep back and accelerate when necessary.
  • Do your checks – even with the ability to manoeuvre out of tight spaces, don’t rely only on your mirrors or peripheral visions – do your head check and make sure it’s safe to change lanes or take action.

Watch your reactions – road rage is a real thing, don’t add fuel to the fire of frustration with other drivers. Should another road user behave uncivil -towards you, don’t aggravate the situation with unfriendly gestures, language or physical confrontation. Ride off and avoid a fight! Sharing the road considerately with other road users is key to road safety.

While considering your safety on the road, - contemplate an insurer for your motorcycle that will be a partner that really understands your specific insurance needs. Insure your motorcycle and enjoy the ride! 

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