PennDOT Reminds Drivers to Share Road with Motorcycles

Summer is in full swing and PennDOT is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to share the road and drive safely.

“Warm sunny weather brings an increase in motorcycle traffic, and it is essential for operators of all types of vehicles to look out for one another,” said PennDOT District 12 Executive William Kovach. “No matter what type of vehicle you drive, we all must take personal responsibility to ensure everyone’s safety on the roadways.”

According to PennDOT 2019 data, there were 19 motorcyclists killed in crashes in PennDOT’s District 12, covering Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties. This marks the third year motorcycle fatalities have increased in District 12.

Recent reports show an alarming number of fatal crashes involving motorcycles have occurred so far in July, resulting in six deaths in District 12.

While sharing the road with motorcycles, motorists should keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Respect a motorcycle as a full-size vehicle, and remember the motorcyclist has the same privileges as any motorist on the roadway.
  • Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width – never try to share a lane.
  • Keep their distance and allow extra space between their vehicle and the motorcycle.
  • Always signal their intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Remember that road and weather conditions that typically are minor annoyances to motorists may pose major hazards to motorcyclists.

“Driving in a courteous manner, curbing aggressive behavior, and obeying the law are positive ways motorists and motorcyclists can safely share the road,” Kovach said.

The mandatory motorcycle training for individuals under 18 years of age looking to obtain their motorcycle license can be completed virtually. Information is available at www.pamsp.com.

Riders are also encouraged to visit www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com, an interactive website designed specifically for motorcyclists.