(Wampsville) As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads. And with that in mind, drivers of all vehicles, whether you're driving an SUV, passenger car or truck, need to be extra attentive and make sure you "Share the Road." "Motorcycles are some of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicle's blind spot so everyone needs to really look out for them,” said Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley.

It's crucial that motorists always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.

Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too. They should follow the rules of the roadway, be alert to other drivers, and always wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear. Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than passenger vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. Research shows that per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than a passenger car occupant to die in a traffic crash.

The Sheriff offers several tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways:

*Remember the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motorvehicle on the roadway. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane;

* Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots beforeentering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections;

* Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic;

* Don't be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed;

* Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when behind a motorcycle, so themotorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. And don't tailgate.