In 1938, J.C. “Pappy” Hoel purchased an Indian Motorcycle franchise in Sturgis, SD and hosted a dirt track race that would lay the foundation for what would become the world’s largest motorcycle rally.
The Sturgis motorcycle rally celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and will draw riders from all 50 states and several countries. As the rally heads into its final week, motorists may notice an influx of riders heading to and from the event. The NHTSA offers the following safety tips for sharing the road with motorcycles:
- Allow motorcycles a full lane. Just because it looks like there’s enough room in a single lane for a vehicle and cycle, looks can be deceiving! Do not share the lane; motorcycles need room to maneuver safely!
- Keep a keen eye out for motorcycles. Their small size makes them difficult to see and can also cause drivers to misjudge their speed and distance
- Check blind spots, and then check them again! Motorcycles can be easily hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always thoroughly check mirrors and blind spots before switching lanes.
- Use your turn signals. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.
- Watch for their turn signals. Just because a turn signal is on, doesn’t necessarily mean the rider is turning. Some signals are not self-canceling and sometimes riders simply forget to turn them off. Ensure the rider is indeed turning before proceeding by them.
- Increase your following distance. Allow 3 to 4 seconds when following a motorcycle. This gives riders more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
You can find more tips here.
Motorcyclists have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other motorist on the roadway. Safe riding practices and cooperation from other road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads. Be safe and “Share the Road!”