When winter finally nestles back down to nap and spring and summer come in full force you’ll be seeing more than sun dappled forests and blue skies on your daily commute. You’ll also likely see lots of motorcycles and bicycles out on the road.

Motorcyclists and bicyclist have their own set of rules to follow when they out on the road. All but three states currently require motorcyclists to wear a helmet and 21 states require the same for people on bicycles. But whether they wear a helmet or not, a motorcycle or bicycle rider is at a severe loss when matched up against even the smallest car.

Most cars weigh an average of 3,000 pounds. They travel at speeds upward of 80 miles-per-hour (legally) and average about 40 mph on most roads. When a car collides with a bicyclist or even a motorcyclist the odds are clearly in the car drivers favor. Helmet or not, the person riding on the unprotected vehicle usually ends up hurt, or killed.

This puts the responsibility for safety in the hands of the car drivers. They are the ones with all the power. Forget to check your mirrors, or your blind spot, and you can end a life in an instant. Fail to stop at a sign, a traffic light or yield at an intersection, and somebody might die as a result.

It only takes a moment to check your surroundings, and that’s something you should be doing any way, regardless of whether or not you think there might be a motorcyclist or bicyclist in your vicinity. Always yield the right of way to other vehicles, regardless of whose right-of-way you might think it is. The difference you make, the life you might save, is worth the five extra seconds it will cost you on your trip.