Summer is here and the open road is calling: That means more motorcycles on the road. The best bikers and drivers take great care in all situations, whether they’re in heavy traffic on the highway, stuck in the rain or just taking a quick ride on a perfect day.

Here are some tips for both motorcycle bikers and drivers to be safe and incident free on the roads this summer.

Advice for the Biker:

Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
The class will teach you about the traffic safety laws that apply to motorcycles, as well as how to respond to emergency situations. No matter if you are a beginner or an experienced rider, it is important to both learn and brush up on your safety knowledge. Taking a motorcycle safety class prepares you to hit the road safely with more confidence.

Safety Gear
Wearing the proper safety gear is of the utmost importance, especially a helmet – regardless of how short your trip may be.
No matter how hot it is outside, shorts and sandals are not proper riding attire. As a motorcycle offers little protection in a crash, what riders wear is part of the crash protection system. Leathers or reinforced jackets, pants, and boots offer extreme protection. For warmer weather invest in gear that is designed specifically for ventilation and cooling.

Defensive driving
Make sure you can be seen by other drivers at all times. Avoid the temptation to weave through traffic or use the shoulder of the road. Make it easier to be seen by keeping a safe distance, using turn signals (and perhaps hand signals as well) and keeping your headlight on.

Watch for hazards
Potholes, oil slicks and roadway debris can cause problems for even the most experienced rider. Stay alert and avoid possible road hazards if you can. When raining, use extreme caution as the roads are most slick. Pull over and wait if necessary. It’s better to be late than ride in unsafe conditions.
Don’t ride after drinking or taking any medications that could impair your abilities.

Advice for Drivers:
Be aware of your blind spots. Motorcycles accelerate more quickly than most cars, so keep an eye out for them in traffic and at intersections.
Don’t pass too closely and give a greater following distance. Motorcyclists don’t have the protection of a car around them, so even the slightest nudge could result in a catastrophic crash.

Whether you’re turning or changing lanes, always use your turn signals. This allows motorcycles and other vehicles to anticipate your movements.
Treat the motorcycle as you would a person. A biker can be just as vulnerable as a person in the road, without the protection of a vehicle around them.

Share the Road

Lastly, whether you’re driving in a car or on a motorcycle, always share the road. For a biker, there is no such thing as a fender bender, as every crash could potentially be fatal. Remember to drive defensively and be considerate so everyone on the roads can be safe.