Q

What are the rules for passing other vehicles safely when I am on my motorcycle?

A

Spring is nearly here and many Rockford motorcyclists are getting their bikes ready for that first ride out Kilburn Avenue to the Four Lakes Forest Preserve. The drive is scenic and peaceful—until you get stuck behind some slow-moving farm equipment.

Is it Safe to Pass?

Knowing how to pass safely is an important skill for any motorcyclist to have—it takes experience and familiarity with the capabilities of your bike. So, before you pass any vehicles this spring, consider the following important safety tips:

  • Pass only in clearly marked passing zones.
  • Before passing, always look over your shoulder to ensure that nobody has entered your blind spot. Repeat the head check before you return to your original lane.
  • Do not attempt to pass if you are approaching hills, curves, or dips in the road. Also, avoid passing near pedestrian crossings or near intersections. These areas could mask a high-speed vehicle approaching from another direction.
  • Pass a line of slow-moving or stationary vehicles with care, since they reduce visibility. In addition, the drivers may not see you and accidentally open the door in front of your bike.
  • Do not assume that other drivers will slow down and allow you to overtake them. In fact, they may actually speed up.
  • When riding with others, make your own passing decisions instead of blindly following the group.

If you are new to riding, are a little rusty, or have a new bike, consider waiting until you have more experience before passing. It may take a little longer to get to your destination, but you will live to ride another day.

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