Making Yourself More VisibleRiding season is in full swing, with a significant increase in motorcycles on the roads this year, which has led to increased motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Making ourselves more visible is going to be one of the key factors in having an enjoyable and safe riding season.
We all tend to wear a lot of black when riding, which makes us hard to see. It may not be cool to wear bright colors but they do make you more visible. Reflective tape/decals on helmets and on bikes definitely make people aware that you are there, especially at night. Having your headlights on at all times is another way to let drivers know you are there; even adding more lights to the bike will increase the awareness.
Ride safe everyone.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
As a motorist or a passenger, there are some steps to become more aware of motorcyclists.
Respect the motorcyclist:
Remember the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
Look for the motorcyclist on the highway, at intersections, when a motorcyclist may be making a left turn, and when a motorcyclist may be changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions.
Anticipate a motorcyclist's maneuver:
Obstructions (debris, potholes, etc.) that you may ignore or not notice can be deadly for a motorcyclist. Predict evasive actions.
Allow plenty of space:
Don't follow a motorcycle too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Motorcycle Safety Tip # 1: Wear a DOT Helmet
Research has clearly shown that serious brain injuries and death can be avoided by wearing a good helmet. A very common motorcycle accident scenario is that a rider is thrown off of the motorcycle, landing on, or hitting his or her head. For those wearing a good helmet, a serious head injury can be avoided by simply wearing a helmet. Hell you might have a severe headache if you land on your head in a motorcycle accident, but at least you are still alive!
Low impact head injuries can also be fatal. A recent case was reported when a stationary motorcyclist lost his balance in the driveway, his motorcycle fell over; he struck his head on the driveway, and died of his injuries a few days later. He died because he did not have a helmet on. The result was tragic and could have been easily averted by simply strapping on a helmet.
A helmet is certainly not an iron clad guarantee that an accident or serious injury won’t happen. However, wearing a motorcycle helmet will certainly improve the chances of survival in a motorcycle accident.
Tip 2: Wear Proper Protective Motorcycle Clothing
Motorcyclists should always wear the proper equipment while riding their motorcycles for protection. The goal is that you not only want a protective layer between you and the elements, but you also want to be clearly visible to other motorist.
Motorcycle accidents can be quite horrendous on the skin. Bikers and motorcyclist can be thrown off of their motorcycles and skid or slide along the pavement. Without protective clothing or footwear, your body can slide unprotected against pavement, concrete, stone, glass, and other dirt and debris on the road, which will literally peel off your flesh, or embed into your flesh. This can have disastrous consequences for you, and cause severe pain and suffering that could have easily have been avoided.
Tip 3: Stay Sober and Well Rested
If you are too tired or shit faced drunk, and/or on other mind altering substances, your reflexes and ability to react while riding your motorcycle can be severely impaired.
Motorcyclist should avoid riding when very tired, and regularly take short breaks. Alcohol and Other Drugs can also seriously affect your ability to ride, and should be avoided when riding a motorcycle.
If you think drunk driving in a car is dangerous, drunk riding is at least ten times more dangerous for you on a motorcycle. At least in a car you have some protection. On a motorcycle, there are no second chances. You need to be on your game.
Stay off of the mind altering substances while riding a motorcycle, even one beer can impair you on a motorcycle. Also take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue.
Tip 4: Adhere to Traffic Laws
A significant number of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents are riding without a proper motorcycle license or endorsement. Motorcyclists should ensure that they are properly licensed, and always up to date on their knowledge of local traffic laws. You should obey all traffic laws whenever possible.
Tip 5: Motorcycle Equipment Safety Check and Planning
Motorcyclists should inspect their motorcycles before each ride for loose screws or bolts, tire wear, etc. Motorcycle accidents often occur as a result of mechanical problems.
Plan ahead when riding in a group. Determine your route in advance and ensure that it agreed with the other riders. Review group hand signals, formations, etc.
Tip 6: Continuous Learning and Improvement
A large percentage of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents have had no formal motorcycle rider training. Enrollment in a certified motorcycle training class is a good way to develop basic riding.
Once the basic techniques have been acquired, motorcyclists can improve accident-avoidance skills by taking an advanced motorcycle rider course or advanced program for motorcyclists that teaches defensive riding on your particular motorcycle.
Motorcyclists and bikers have the responsibility to protect themselves as much as possible.