Motorcycles ride as fast as cars and trucks but lack their seat belts, airbags, size, weight, four wheels, and a protective steel cage. This means the motorcyclist cannot afford to ride like most people drive their cars. For motorcyclists, riding defensively means more than avoiding accidents, it’s about survival. As motorcycle accident attorneys, we want you to have a safe riding experience. Here are six defensive motorcycling tips for a safer ride:
- Be visible. Motorcycles are small and other motorists are not looking out for them. Motorcyclists must counter this by wearing bright clothing and incorporate vibrant coloring on their bikes and helmets. Consider installing two extra running lights in addition to your headlight.
- Maintain situational awareness of the road. Avoiding accidents requires a high degree of awareness of the traffic situation around you. This means looking further down the road beyond the vehicle in front of you. Develop a habit of quick but frequent mirror checks of the road behind as well as checks to the side.
- Leave yourself an escape route. When riding in multilane interstates, seek areas with the least congestion where at least one lane to the side has an empty space. This is your escape route should another motorist suddenly move into your current position. When stopped at an intersection, leave enough space in front to allow quick acceleration to get out of the way of a vehicle that is about to rear-end you.
- Assume you are invisible. Watch out for side streets, driveways, and intersections. Do not assume the cars waiting to pull into your lane will see you and give you the right of way. Watch for cars in the opposing lane making left turns. The left turn collision into a motorcycle is a common accident.
- Leave enough following space in front. Unlike four-wheeled vehicles, you cannot slam on your brakes at the last second and screech to a stop. Locked wheels cause two-wheeled vehicles to lose control.
- Approach road bends carefully. Turning requires good tire-to-pavement contact and loose gravel, grease slicks, wet pavement, and potholes interfere with this. Enter blind road bends at slower speeds than those that you can see through.
If in spite of your defensive riding, an aggressive or negligent motorist injures you in an accident, you have the right to seek compensation. For advice on your case, contact us at Mike Lewis Attorneys.