With the risk of sounding like someone’s mother I want to point out a few things you should keep an eye on before you hit the road again on your steel horse. The one thing we all would like to do is just mount it and pull open the throttle but here are a few things to keep an eye on. Best practices for riding motorcycles:
It feels like more and more people are driving their car while on the phone and perhaps even navigating the street from their GPS. This leads to decreased attention to the road and therefore to us; the impuissant motorcyclist.
Of course, there are plenty of motorcycle accidents caused by the rider, but the vast majority are caused by the actions of distracted car drivers. This can lead to serious injury or even death for the far more vulnerable motorcycle rider.
No matter whether you are new or old to the world of motorcycles: it is important that you stay vigilant. You need to practice defensive riding in order to ensure your own safety and security while on the move. Here are a the 5 best practices for riding a motorcycle that will help you to make it through summer unscratched.
Don’t get between a vehicle and an offramp
This may seem obvious, but many riders get into trouble by a driver who decides to exit at the last minute on a highway offramp. Passing on the right is a bad idea, but it is especially risky if you position yourself between a vehicle and an offramp.
Watch drivers’ heads
Most drivers will not lunge suddenly either left or right without first moving their heads in some direction, even if they don’t check their mirrors. Stay observant through the windows and mirrors of other vehicles for the head movements of the drivers. This way you may be able to predict their next move. You can see if they have noticed you and your motorcycle, or realize whether they are distracted on their phone, or about to make a sudden swerve into an offramp.
It’s good practice to let larger vehicles run interference for you when you are crossing intersections. This simply means keeping a larger vehicle beside you as you cross, effectively shielding you if someone were to come flying through the red light. It’s for this same reason that you should never take off immediately as the light turns green, but rather try to be patient and have bigger vehicles provide a bit of coverage.
Another one of the 5 best practices for riding motorcycles to be ready for sudden changes in speed, either slowing down or speeding up. The ability to react quickly can save your life. Especially in traffic, can mean the difference between a serious accident and a close call when someone decides to merge suddenly into your lane. You should also keep your brakes covered and ready for action. This means a toe close to the rear brake pedal and a finger or two on the brake lever. But in some cases, you might want to speed up quickly in order to avoid an accident. Which means riding in a lower gear, so your bike is ready to accelerate rapidly if needed.
Most accidents involving motorcycles are due to the fact that the other driver simply didn’t see them. This is why it is important to make sure you are noticed. You can improve your visibility to drivers and pedestrians by using your high beams during the day. Just make sure to turn it off when sitting behind someone in traffic. Brightly colored gear also helps, especially the color of your jacket or helmet.
That is it, the 5 best practices for riding motorcycles without getting into trouble. Riding is a great way to enjoy the freedom of the road and by keeping these 5 best practices for riding motorcycles in mind, you can help ensure that you will continue to enjoy it for many years to come. Make sure to check out this cool video by Greg, he uses Scenic to discover Japan!
This is an adaptation of an article that appeared on the fnlawfirm.com website in January 2018.