There are many good reasons to ride a motorcycle. They’re fun, easy to park, and extremely fuel-efficient. But motorcycles are also significantly more dangerous than passenger vehicles. Not only are safe-riding habits a must for all motorcyclists, but they must also be constantly on the lookout for drivers who may or may not see them.
By far the biggest threat that motorcyclists face is other drivers. And while motorcyclists can’t control the behavior of other drivers, they can do two things to reduce their risks: wear protective gear and make themselves as visible as possible. When drivers can quickly and easily see motorcyclists, even in their peripheral vision, they’re far less likely to hit them.
Whether you or someone you love is a motorcyclist, here are a few tips for being more visible on the road.
Wear Brightly Colored or Reflective Gear
Ideally, every motorcyclist would ride bikes that are painted the brightest and “loudest” colors possible. But that’s not everyone’s preference, and many bikes are painted in more neutral colors like black and silver. Adding color to your appearance while on your bike is a must, and the easiest way to do that is through the protective gear you wear.
Whether it’s your helmet, your jacket, your pants, your gloves, or your boots, be sure to wear at least one piece of gear that’s brightly colored or highly reflective. Wearing all black may look sleek, but it makes you far more difficult for other drivers to see—especially if you ride in the evening, early morning, or at night.
Stay Out of Drivers’ Blind Spots
Many vehicles have blind-spot detection systems that alert drivers when others are nearby. But you can’t count on those detection systems being present in all nearby vehicles or count on them to always being able to detect motorcyclists. And sadly, you also can’t count on drivers even paying attention to them when changing lanes or turning.
As a motorcyclist, you must always be aware of whether drivers can see you or not. When you’re riding, you should always stay out of drivers’ blind spots. Remember that the larger the vehicle is, the bigger its blind spots. Buses, large vans, box trucks, and semi-trucks have huge blind spots and require extra caution when you’re riding behind, next to, or near them.
Keep Your Headlight On, Even During the Day
Most drivers don’t turn their headlights on during the day, and even vehicles with automatic headlights keep them off during daylight hours. But as a motorcyclist, it’s important to keep your headlight on anytime you’re riding, regardless of time of day or visibility.
Whether you’re riding at 3 p.m. on a cloudless day or at dawn on a foggy morning, your headlight should always be on. Your headlight can help drivers who are traveling in the opposite direction spot you, as well as drivers who are waiting to turn left. Check your headlight frequently and replace the bulb if it dims or burns out.
Avoid Riding During Times of Reduced Visibility
One of the best ways to be seen by other drivers is to only ride during times of day when they can easily see you. Riding at night or in the rain can diminish every other step you take to make yourself more visible to drivers. If you can help it, only ride during the day.
If you have to ride at night or during times of limited visibility, stick to well-lit roads and highways. When riding, ride in the center of your lane to take up as much space as possible. Use your horn if other drivers don’t seem to notice you, and be extra cautious when approaching intersections where drivers may be turning left in front of you.
If You’re Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident, We’ve Got Your Back
Even the safest and most conscientious motorcyclists face big risks when they ride in Oklahoma. Riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a vehicle. All it takes is one driver being distracted, negligent, or impaired behind the wheel to cause an accident that can change your life forever.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, our Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyers know the uphill battle that injured riders face. We work hard to make insurance companies take them and their claims seriously and to get them maximum compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact us today for a free consultation after a crash that wasn’t your fault. We want to help you move forward with your life.