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Sharing the Road with Motorcycles in Montana

Key takeaways...
  • Car, van, and truck drivers must learn better approaches to driving safely on the road with motorcyclists
  • Montana has experienced a significant increase in motorcycle accident fatalities
  • The NHTSA has launched an educational program to decrease motorcycle accidents nationwide
  • Putting the right insurance in place is vital when concerned about accidents

The fresh air in Montana not only entices people to go out on the roads and travel, the environment makes traveling by motorcycle preferable.

Not everyone is a motorcyclist, but everyone does need to learn how to share the roads with motorcyclists. Safety is among the most important reasons to do this since so much is at risk when traveling on highways in The Treasure State.

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Sharing the Road

The term “share the road” simply means drivers should obey all traffic laws and be more contentious towards others so as to avoid accidents. In general, sharing the road means safety must never be compromised for convenience.

Being aggressive and self-centered when driving increases the chances of hitting a motorcycle or another vehicle.

“Share the Road with Motorcyclists” is a valuable program designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Through the release of public service announcements and publication of various printed materials, the NHTSA is working with numerous organizations to raise awareness about motorcycle safety.

Improving the driving habits of motorcyclists is not the only focus of the program. The NHTSA wants drivers of other vehicles to learn insights on how to decrease the chances of an accident with a motorcycle.

The information disseminated educates drivers on facts about motorcycles they might not realize. For example, certain road conditions might not present serious problems to someone driving a truck but motorcyclists find the same situation perilous.

Montana residents may wonder why there is such a strong push for awareness about sharing the road with motorcyclists. Somewhat ominous reasons motivate the push for educating the driving public. Motorcycle fatalities are up in the state of Montana.

A previously published 2014 report revealed motorcycle accident-related deaths increased by nearly 62% over the prior two years. Thirty-four fatalities occurred in 2013, a significant increase from the 21 who died in 2011.

Tips on Sharing the Road for Motorists


Motorists wishing to drive in harmony with motorcyclists are advised to heed some basic advice.

– Check Your Blind Spots

Do not make a casual glance over your shoulder prior to changing lanes. Don’t rely solely on the rear view and side mirrors.

Follow what the driver’s manual for the state suggests. Check all blind spots by thoroughly looking before making any lane changes. Try to keep an eye on blind spots even when not thinking about changing lanes.

This way, a defensive action can be better performed if a motorcyclist acts erratically.

– Be Cautious When Passing

Never change lanes in a hazardous manner. Only make the change after carefully checking blind spots and always use the turn signals when doing so.

Cutting others off is another ill-advised and illegal way to pass. Don’t go past the speed limit either when passing and beware of oncoming traffic. All these cautious steps might avoid a tragedy.

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– Pay Extra Attention at Night

Montana looks just as beautiful at night as it does during the day. The one caveat is you see less of it. Night brings forth a cloak of darkness that hampers visibility. Oncoming headlights, especially high beams, may create further vision issues.

– Stay In Your Lane

Sometimes, the safest thing to do is to do nothing. Remaining in your lane could very well curtail the chances of an accident. This might seem like a passive form of defensive driving, but it helps.

– Have the Right Coverage

A comprehensive auto insurance policy covering all manner of different collision incidents may go a long way towards protecting a driver after an accident with a motorcycle.

Never become complacent with a current policy. Every six months, review the policy and check out at least three or four new policy quotes. Again, you want the best insurance policy in place.

Motorcyclists need to follow a classic maxim for personal safety: you must take steps to care for yourself.

Motorcyclists cannot stop a car, van, or another vehicle from acting improperly on the road. Drivers are limited to caring for their own actions. Caring for oneself and taking proper precautionary measures to prevent harm will help motorcyclists stay safe on the roads.

Tips on Sharing the Road for Motorcyclists


– Wear The Right Gear

Wearing the right gear goes a long way towards enhancing safety. The right gear includes a safety helmet and apparel that can somewhat reduce harm if knocked off the bike. Wearing reflective clothing could be an assist at night as well.

– Drive Defensively

Driving defensively is strongly advised. Those who are not sure about the right way to drive defensively should enroll in a formal class. There may be a discount available on an insurance policy for doing so.

– Pass With Caution

Passing on a motorcycle is risky even when properly. Performing illegal and reckless passes only increase risks.

– Avoid Bad Weather

Avoid heading out on the road in inclement weather is another form of defensive driving. Bad weather presents more hazards on the road. If a trip can be delayed, delay it.

– What kind of insurance do you need?

The best insurance is a policy that equals or exceeds personal assets and protects against the worst kind of financial fallout from many potential scenarios, which includes at-fault and no-fault situations.

These tips may seem basic, but they provide valuable insights to those wishing to avoid getting into an accident.

The Dangers of Hogging the Road


The “I own the road” attitude embodied by many drivers is not something to be embraced or duplicated. Choosing to hog the road is a truly bad idea because doing so truly undermines safety on many levels. Any behavior creating the potential to cause an accident must be avoided.

Accidents and collisions are, by nature, chaotic. No one could possibly figure out what might happen in the event of an accident.

Choosing to “hog the road” may lead to an accident with a motorcyclist and, possibly, a wrongful death. Severe injuries and potential property damage all go hand-in-hand with being too aggressive on the road.

Additionally, getting into an accident means insurance premiums are likely to go up. Filing a claim on an insurance policy, especially a costly claim due to negligence, could lead to the policy being outright canceled.

The insurance company is not the only entity in which the negligent driver must answer to.

Depending upon how reckless the driver was, a license could end up suspended or outright revoked. Criminal charges might even be filed as well as reckless driving in Montana is a misdemeanor

The moral here is to never hog the road when driving alongside motorcycles or any other vehicles. Be a safe and courteous driver and, most of all, do not drive up the chances an accident may occur.

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