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  • Motorcyclists are hard to see. Knowing where to expect them can help you become safer and more confident on the roads during warm-weather months when most motorcyclists take to the streets. When you watch for motorcyclists, see more than the motorcycle, see the person under the helmet. They may be your friend, neighbor or relative. Here are some tips to help you remain aware of motorcyclists and keep everyone safe.

Driving tips to help you safely share the road with motorcyclists

  • Roads84% of motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen on streets, not highways

    84% of motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen on streets, not highways. A common misconception is that most crashes involving motorcyclists and vehicles occur on highways. Data shows that a large majority take place on city streets where a lot of vehicles are in motion.

  • Turn LeftMost crashes with motorcyclists occur when vehicle drivers are turning left

    Most crashes with motorcyclists occur when vehicle drivers are turning left. Intersections are one of the biggest dangers for motorcyclists. Their smaller size causes them to be overlooked by other drivers. Make sure to look twice before turning, especially to the left.

  • MotorcycleAlways assume motorcyclists are closer than they appear

    Always assume motorcyclists are closer than they appear. Their speed and distance are difficult for drivers to judge, especially at intersections. Keep a watchful eye at all times. Look twice at intersections before you turn or pull out.

  • EyeDouble-check your blind spots

    Double-check your blind spots. It’s probably no surprise that motorcyclists can get lost in a vehicle’s blind spot. Be extra cautious when merging or changing lanes.

  • EarDon not rely just on your ears

    Don’t rely just on your ears. Many drivers count on hearing motorcycles to be alert of their presence. You can’t always hear motorcycles, especially when they are oncoming. So, practice remaining alert at all times.

  • DistanceKeep Your Distance

    Keep your distance. Many motorcyclists slow down by downshifting, which won’t activate the brake light. Allow yourself extra space when you’re following a motorcyclist, particularly on busy city streets.

  • Hand SignalKnow Their Signals

    Know their signals. Motorcyclists often use hand signals, similar to bicyclists, to let others know their intentions on the road. A right turn is signaled by a left arm raised, a left turn by the left arm straight out to the side and a stop by the left arm downward.

  • DistractionsAvoid Distractions

    Avoid distractions. Keep all devices out of reach while driving so you won’t be tempted to look at them – even when you’re stopped at intersections. Other distractions that can take your attention away from the road? GPS devices, eating, drinking or reaching for an object all can take your eyes – and your mind – off the road.

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Traffic Crash Data Map
  • Link to Michigan Motorcycle/Vehicle Crashes

    More than 7,700 motorcycle-vehicle crashes occurred in Michigan from 2015 to 2019. Many drivers mistakenly believe most crashes with motorcyclists happen on highways. But, in reality, 84% of motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen on city streets, not highways. Furthermore, most of these crashes happen when a vehicle driver is turning left. 

    Some areas have higher motorcycle-vehicle crash rates than others. Knowing where they have occurred will help all road users to be more alert and safer. This map provides detailed information about Michigan motorcycle-vehicle crashes, so you can see where they happen in your area.

    2015-2019 Motorcycle-Vehicle Crash Map

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