In the event of a road accident, motorcyclists are around 30 times more likely to be killed that can drivers and passengers. As a result, there are certain things that can be frustrating for motorcyclists when sharing the road with other vehicles.
Here are seven common annoyances that motorcyclists experience:
1: Not being seen
Motorcycles are small and can be easily missed by other drivers, especially when changing lanes or merging onto the motorway. This can lead to dangerous situations for the motorcyclist, who may feel invisible to other road users.
2: Being tailgated
As motorcyclists are far less protected than enclosed vehicles, being tailgated can be intimidating and potentially very dangerous for the motorcyclist. Motorcycle injuries tend to be more severe than those of enclosed vehicles such as cars and trucks. As a rule you should leave a two second gap behind the vehicle in front during ideal conditions, and more when there is reduced visibility.
3: Distracted drivers
With the increasing prevalence of smartphones and other distractions, it's becoming more common for drivers to take their eyes off the road. Distracted driving can include activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or changing the radio. It only takes a moment of distraction for a serious accident to occur, and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable.
4: Drivers not understanding lane filtering rules
In some states, including Queensland, it is legal for motorcycles to split lanes/lane filter (i.e., ride between lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles) to avoid traffic when traffic is under 30km/h (where safe to do so). Some motorists, however, might not be aware of this technique and may become irritated or hostile when a motorcyclist passes them in this way or move lanes without looking for motorcyclists at traffic lights.
5: Not giving motorcycles enough space
Motorcycles need more room to manoeuvre, so it's important for other drivers to give them ample space when passing or changing lanes. However, some drivers may not realise this and may get too close, making the motorcyclist feel vulnerable.
6: Motorcycles can be affected by road conditions
Potholes, gravel, and other road conditions can be more dangerous for motorcyclists than for drivers of larger vehicles. It is important for drivers to be aware of these hazards and to drive accordingly.
7: Motorcycles are more affected by weather conditions
Strong winds and heavy rain can be more dangerous for motorcyclists than for drivers of larger enclosed vehicles. You should double your following distance during poor conditions such as rain, fog and hail to at least four seconds and drop your speed accordingly. Keep in mind that a motorcyclist may have heavily impaired visibility in these conditions with the lack of windscreen wipers, so give them plenty of space.
Overall, these are just a few of the issues that motorcyclists may face when sharing the road with other vehicles. It's important for all road users to be aware of each other and to practice safe driving habits to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.