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HOW TO AVOID HITTING A MOTORCYCLIST

1. Be alert for them. Motorcycles aren't as easy to see as bigger vehicles so you have to keep an eye out for them. Plus, for many, they are seasonal vehicles, so they appear in larger numbers during warmer weather. You need to be aware of this fact and remain even more diligent as the weather warms. People don't see motorcycles near as much during the winter months, so when they suddenly appear in droves again, many drivers aren't as attuned to them. So watch and listen for them ... and use your side mirrors.

2. Always use your turn signals. This gives the cyclist and other drivers time to react to your intentions.

3. Avoid distractions while driving. Don't text or talk on your cell phone. Don't fiddle with your global positioning system or radio. And certainly don't apply your makeup while driving. Anything that takes your eyes off the road even for an instant is like playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette.

4. Never tailgate a motorcycle. A fender bender with another four-wheeled vehicle might do little more than scratch or dent a bumper. But the same small contact with a motorcycle could be deadly. So give yourself plenty of stopping distance.

5. Be careful coming out of intersections or crossroads. Look left; then look right. Don't get into too much of a hurry. An error in judgment here can be a life and death decision.

-- Air Education and Training
Command Ground Safety Division