3 Tips for Sharing the Road with Motorcycles Safely

Did you know that May is Motorcycle Awareness Month hosted by the National Safety Council? The purpose of this campaign is to remind drivers and motorcycle riders to do their part to keep each other safe on the roads! I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips to help you educate your teen on sharing the road safely with motorcycle riders.

Each year thousands of people lose their lives due to collisions involving a motorcycle and four-wheeled vehicles, and these numbers continue to rise. Without proper education, many new drivers are unaware of how they should treat other types of motorists, which leads to collisions. These collisions are usually caused because:

Let’s take a closer look at the most common causes of collisions between vehicles and motorcycles.

Motorcycles are Smaller

One of the most critical factors to teach your teen and remind them is that motorcycles are significantly smaller than other vehicles and are much harder to see on the road. That being said, knowing when and where to look for motorcycles will decrease the chances that your teen is unaware of their presence.

  1. Depending on where you live, motorcycle season can range. Remind your newly driving teen when motorcycle season is approaching; that way, they can be more aware.
  2. CHECK THE BLINDSPOT! I cannot stress this enough but always ensure that your teen performs a proper shoulder check before changing lanes. Motorcycles are much smaller than the average vehicle, and without shoulder checking, there is a good chance that your teen may not realize that they are there.
  3. When you see one motorcycle, there is a good chance that there are more in the immediate area. Many motorcyclists enjoy going on group rides, so if your teen sees one, ensure that they are prepared that more are in the area.

Motorcycle Behaviour

When a motorcycle is present on the road, your teen must understand that they do not move the same way a four-wheeled vehicle would move. To anticipate a motorcyclist’s behaviour (although we are unfortunately not psychic), use the following tips to guide your teen:


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Look for body language that indicates a lane switch. The driver will usually check their mirror and glance over their shoulder before making a lane switch.

Tip 2

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Watch the motorcyclist's lights to indicate if they are turning, changing lanes, or slowing down.

Tip 3

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Watch for road signs ahead as your teen will learn to understand how the driver's behavior changes when a stop sign or traffic light is coming up ahead.

Distracted Driving

I have discussed distracted driving in previous blogs, such as in The 8 Danger Zones and across our social media channels. Distracted driving is the root cause of many collisions, and in the case of accidents between cars and motorcycles, these collisions have a higher rate of fatality. What can you do to ensure that your teen is paying full attention to the road?

  1. Have a discussion and educate your teen about the consequences and dangers of distracted driving.
  2. If you see your teen engaging in other activities that take their focus off of the road, have them pull over immediately and consider removing driving privileges until they understand the severity of the actions.
  3. While you are coaching your teen from the passenger seat, point out the motorcycle’s size compared to the vehicle you are in. Remind your teen that even slightly hitting the motorcycle can be detrimental.


Educating your teen about safely sharing the road will decrease their chances of getting into a collision. The more they know, the safer they will be when they take on the roads independently.

To learn more about how you can prepare your teen to be the confident and safe driver you know they can be, visit our homepage to learn about the Coaching New Drivers program.

Coach Bill

Coach Bill

Bill is the Managing Partner of Coaching New Drivers and has a vast background in driver education. Bill is passionate about technology-based driver assessment and has gained extensive knowledge and experience through lecturing on driving topics across North America, Australia, and Asia. Bill is a parent to two teens who he has also successfully coached during the Learner’s permit stage.

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