DMV Offers Some Tips to Help Motorists Heighten Their Awareness of Motorcycles

FACT: In 2020, 87 motorcyclists died in crashes on Virginia roadways, according to preliminary figures. More than 1,700 crashes involving motorcyclists were reported and 1,479 motorcyclists were injured; 672 of those injuries were categorized as serious.

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  •  Allow for the extra following distance behind motorcycles because riders often slow down by downshifting or coasting, which means the brake lights aren't always activated.
  • Since a motorcycle's narrow profile can cause it to be hidden in a car’s blind spot when it’s behind a car, check rear view mirrors often to be aware of motorcycles approaching or following.
  • Take an extra moment to look twice for motorcycles when changing lanes, turning at intersections, pulling out of driveways or pulling into traffic because motorcycles may look farther away than they are, and it can be difficult to judge a motorcycle's speed.
  • Be mindful that a motorcycle's turn signals aren’t always self-canceling like a car's turn signals.  Some riders, especially beginners, may forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change.
  •  Be aware that when motorcyclists adjust lane position within a lane, they are not being reckless or trying to show off. The adjustment is often made to improve visibility and to minimize the effects of debris, passing vehicles or wind.

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