Look for motorcyclists. Use your eyes and mirrors to see what’s around you and check the blind spots when you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections. Look and look again. Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden.
Also, because of its size, a motorcycle can look farther away than it is. When turning at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, assume a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
Keep your distance. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, decelerating without activating a brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
Focus on driving. Hang up the phone, put down the MP3 player, settle the passengers and drive.
Use your turn signals. Signal your intentions for everyone’s safety.
Safety tips for motorcyclists
Be visible -- Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time. Make sure your headlight works day and night and use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your bike. Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping. And if a motorist doesn’t see you, don’t be afraid to use your horn.
Dress for safety. Wear a quality helmet and eye protection, along with bright clothing that’s also thick and protective, such as leather. That includes wearing long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves. The only thing between you and the road is your protective gear.
Ride extra defensively. Constantly search the road for changing conditions, and stick to the speed limit. Give yourself space and time to react, and stay in lanes where you are most visible. Remember to signal your next move in advance and avoid weaving between lanes. And don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Know your bike and how to use it -- Get formal training and take refresher courses. Then practice to develop riding techniques so you know how to handle your bike. Go to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Web site at motorcycles.hsmv.state.fl.us/faq.cfm for more information on riding a motorcycle in the state.