Sharing the roads

There are three important ways motorcyclists can safely share the road with other vehicles.

Be seen, scan and plan and keep your distance.

Be seen

In urban areas, many motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle and occur at intersections. Improve your safety by making sure other road users can see you and your bike.

  • Always use low beam headlights.
  • Wear highly visible protective clothing.
  • Consider your lane position and visibility to other drivers.
  • Be aware of drivers or riders ‘blind spot’.
  • Position yourself so you can see the driver or riders face in their rear-view mirror.
  • Slow down at intersections for a better chance of being seen.
Scan and plan

Always be aware of potential hazards on the road ahead while you’re riding:
  • Scan ahead for hazards such as oil slicks, sand or gravel, potholes or debris.
  • Be aware of traffic situations or junctions up ahead.
  • Anticipate movements by any vehicles immediately around you.
  • Use your mirrors and do a head check before any manoeuvres.
Keep your distance

The best protection you can have is a safe distance between yourself and other road users.
Under normal road conditions, a three second gap between yourself and the vehicle in front, or a five second buffer in wet weather or less than ideal conditions:
  • Gives you enough time to react in an emergency;
  • Gives you a better view of the road surface; and
  • Allows other drivers to see you.
Moving from one side of your lane to the other will allow you to maintain your buffer zone at the side when:
  • You are being overtaken by other vehicles;
  • You are passing a line of parked car; and
  • A truck is approaching, possibly creating hazardous wind gusts.
If a vehicle is traveling too closely behind you motorcycle:
  • Increase your distance from the car in front to give you extra stopping time.
  • Change lanes or slow down and allow the tailgater to overtake.

 

Tips and techniques for motorcycle riders Ride safe handbook