Professional Driver's Handbook

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Sharing the road

As a professional driver, you are responsible for watching for other vehicles including motor vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles. Treat them courteously, since they have the same right to use the streets and highways, providing they are complying with the laws. Like a pedestrian, a bicycle or motorcycle is no match for a car or truck. If there is a collision, the cyclist is almost always injured or killed.

A problem for drivers is the inability to see the cyclist. It is your responsibility to be alert! Motorcyclists need a complete traffic lane: do not try to share a lane with one.

Motorcycle size

A motorcycle's smaller size makes it appear to be farther away and moving slower. Compensate for this illusion by allowing more time and distance for stopping. Most motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars. Unless you’ve allowed sufficient following distance, you might not realize the motorcycle has stopped before it’s too late to avoid a collision. They may hit a bump, rut, a railway track or a hole and swerve or upset.

Check twice, save a life

During motorcycle season, check twice before making a lane change or turn; once for cars and trucks, once for motorcycles and bikes. You can easily lose a motorcycle in your blind spot.


When you pass, especially on gravel or in wet weather, remember that you may throw dirt or water at the motorcyclist. Pass the motorcyclist as if they were a car or truck. Don't crowd them and be well ahead before you pull back in.

If a motorcyclist is riding in the right wheel track, don't pass in their lane. Motorcycles, like cars, are entitled to a full lane. Another danger of passing too closely is creating turbulence which can cause the motorcyclist to wobble or lose control.

Sometimes a motorcycle's turn signals are hard to see. Watch the driver. If they shoulder-check or tilt their machine, they are probably going to change lanes or turn.

After dark, particularly in city areas, be alert for bicycles and mopeds.



Rev: 2017