Sharing the Road: Safety Precautions Motorcyclists and Drivers Need to Know

Recently, I blogged about the rising number of bicyclists that can be found on Nevada roads as summer approaches. In addition to bicyclists, it is also important to note that there will be an influx of motorcyclists as well.

Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable on the roads because, similarly to bicycles, motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars. This puts motorcyclists at an increased risk of getting severely injured or killed in a collision. Between 2012 to 2016, there were 259 motorcycle crash fatalities and 1,076 serious injuries in Nevada. Nearly three out of four of these motorcycle-related fatalities occurred in Clark County.

Following these preventative measures will help keep roads safer for everybody sharing them:   


  • Follow the speed limit.
  • Never expect a car to stop when you come up to a light or stop sign.
  • Do not expect turning drivers to yield.
  • Take extra caution when following road rules, such as the speed limit, with your vulnerability as a motorcyclist in mind.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Don’t weave between lanes.

Wearing a Helmet: The Key to Safety

According to the Advocates for Highway & Highway Safety, wearing a helmet is the only strategy proven to be effective in reducing motorcyclist deaths:

  • Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are killed almost 28 times more frequently in traffic crashes than occupants of passenger cars.
  • Helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and death by 42 percent.
  • The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,870 motorcyclists in 2017 alone.


  • Double check your blind spots.
  • Be patient – while you may feel frustrated when a motorcycle is in your way, engaging in aggressive actions like tailgating will only escalate the situation.
  • Inform motorcyclists you intend to turn or change lanes by using your blinker. Consider doing this a few seconds earlier than normally when you know a motorcyclist is behind you.
  • Take caution in intersections, where motorcyclist accidents are most likely to occur. In fact, about one in three multi-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle occur when motorists drive into the path of the motorcycle.  

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National Bike Month: Avoiding Motorist-Bicyclist Collisions in Nevada

As warmer weather arrives to Nevada, an increasing number of bicyclists can be found on the roads. Because of this, it is critical that drivers and bicyclists alike prioritize traveling safely to minimize the risk of a potentially tragic accident: in recent years, bicyclist deaths have accounted for about two to three percent of all traffic-related deaths in Nevada. On a more positive note, however, Washoe County just implemented a promising bicyclist safety initiative that aims to address this problem.

During the weekend of May 4, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) kicked off National Bike Safety Month by finishing up its Green Bike Stamp initiative. Through this initiative, vibrant green bike lanes were installed on some roads to reduce accidents between drivers and bicyclists. Scott Gibson, the RTC Project Manager, says that they are “putting these [lanes] in to try and enhance and highlight bicycle lanes and bicycle space, particularly in transition zones, so drivers are aware that there may be conflicts with cyclists and make them more aware of looking out for cyclists.” In other words, the new bike lanes are designed to tackle the issue of motorist-bicyclist collisions.

Las Vegas Metro Police Deputy Chief Andy Walsh notes that “there [are] two sides to this issue and it’s the motorists and bicyclists that have to really work together if we’re going to have an impact on this.” On that note, there are a number of preventative measures that motorists and bicyclists can follow to share the roads safely


  • Give bicyclists a three-foot distance
  • Move into a separate lane if possible
  • Slow down and abide by traffic laws
  • Be extra cautious while traveling through an intersection
  • Use signals before turning


  • Follow the same street rules at cars and abide to traffic laws
  • Use a bicycle lane whenever one is available
  • Get off your bicycle and walk it across crosswalks
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet
  • Add reflectors and lights to your bike and wear reflective clothing if riding at night
  • Travel in the direction of traffic
  • Use your hand to signal when you will be turning

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