81ºF

FHP gives tips on sharing roads with motorcycles

The Florida weather is favorable enough to ditch the car in favor of a motorcycle or bicycle, which leaves drivers in a more vulnerable position.

"Our biggest problem we have right now is cars making left turns in front of motorcycles," said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes.

Using simple caution can save a life.

 "The motorcycles are coming straight, they have the right of way and a car or driver is either impatient of misjudges how fast the motorcycle is approaching them, makes that left turn and now these motorcyclists are dying in these crashes," said Montes.

Montes said it's important to know that motorcycle and moped drivers have the same rights to the road that cars do. Double check if you're getting ready to change lanes or pull into an intersection.

Don't attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle, they are entitled to the whole travel lane just like a car, and always give them plenty of space. Following a motorcycle too closely is never a good idea, because they can stop much faster than other vehicles so tailgating can be a very dangerous mistake. 

If you need to pass, allow ample space. 

"A lot of people don't realize, you have to give them 3 feet when you're passing them, in the same direction," Montes said. "That's a law. And if you don't give them three feet you can be ticketed."

Be aware that it's not just cars out there, Montes said.

"We have to get in the mindset that you don't own the road under your vehicle. It has to be shared," she said.