There are many ways drivers on the road can keep bikers safe. Unfortunately, drivers aren’t always as cautious as they should be and accidents happen. It’s equally, if not more, important for bikers to do what they can to avoid an accident too.
For example, The Levin Firm recommends that, “at least four seconds should pass before your vehicle reaches a spot on the road that the motorcycle in front of you has just passed.” Drivers should definitely give the entire lane to bikers, and they should especially avoid driving aggressively when around a motorcycle or a group of bikers.
One of the ways to do that is to make yourself and your motorcycle more visible on the road.
1. Wear Bright Gear
Protective clothing is important. Wearing a thick pair of pants, a jacket, and a helmet is the best way to avoid serious injuries if you should find yourself in an accident. Unfortunately, a lot of motorcycle gear is black.
Black gear looks cool, and it will protect you in an accident, but it won’t help you prevent an accident. Wearing black makes you less visible to other drivers. It’s better to wear bright gear.
Wear a colorful helmet or choose a jacket that uses white fabric instead of black. It will make you much easier to see.
2. Strategically Use Reflective Tape
Bikers are a lot harder to see at night than they are during the day. That means you have to go above and beyond to appear more visible when the sun goes down. Reflective tape is a great way to do that.
Reflective tape can be placed all over your bike on:
- Crank arms
- Head tube
- Seat stays
Reflective tape can also be placed on your gear to make your body more visible too. It’s a must on your helmet, but it can also be placed on your gloves, riding boots, and it can even be placed on jackets and pants.
Don’t like the look of red, orange, and yellow reflective tape? White is a more stylish option. You can also find black reflective tape that will blend in with your bike during the day, but reflect light that hits it at night.
3. Update Your Lights to LED
LEDs have the potential to increase your visibility at night and make you more visible to other drivers. However, it’s not guaranteed. LED lights aren’t always brighter, so it’s important to make sure you’re smart about updating your lights if you decide it’s something you want to do.
More LEDs will always be brighter. Only three lights is no better than a traditional halogen bulb. If you want to see and be seen, choose a unit with four or five LEDs.
If you really want to up your light game at night, consider Xenon gas headlights that can provide you with significantly more light than traditional halogen bulbs.
4. Be Clever About Using Your Head and Tail Lights
No matter what kind of bulbs you use on your bike, you can use them to be more easily seen on the road during the day and at night. You just have to know how to use them to get attention.
Don’t be afraid to drive with your high beams on all the time, even during the day. Most drivers won’t be blinded, but even if they are and they are annoyed, at least they can see you!
You can use your tail light to your advantage too. By tapping your brakes rapidly, you can turn your lights into a blinker, alerting the driver behind you to pay attention. It’s a great way to communicate with a distracted driver or a driver who’s driving a little too close for comfort.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Your Horn
Road rage can be dangerous, especially if you’re riding a motorcycle. Although you may be tempted to use your horn out of anger, you should only use your horn to avoid a collision. It can also be used to help get the attention of another driver who is distracted behind the wheel, or on mountainous or hilly terrain where you cannot see if someone is driving up the hill.
Don’t be afraid to use your horn when you’re using it properly. It really is the best way to get the attention of other drivers and avoid a collision.
6. Never Drive in Another Vehicle’s Blind Spot
Cars, SUVs, trucks, and especially semi-trailers have blind spots. Mirrors can help, but there are still areas next to the car that drivers can’t see. You should never hang out in these spots.
If you find yourself in another car’s blind spot, get out of it as quickly as possible. That means accelerating so you can pass the vehicle quickly, but it may also mean braking and falling behind until you’re able to pass the vehicle in a timely manner.
7. Consider Driving a Colorful Bike
If you already have a bike, you may not have the money to go out and buy another one, even though you might like to! However, if you are in the market for a new bike, consider your visibility before you make your purchase.
There are a lot of things to look for when purchasing a great motorcycle, but you shouldn’t just look at mechanics. You should look at the color of the bike too!
Although black bikes are classic and popular, you should seriously consider bikes with designs that feature bright colors. Red, orange, and yellow are popular colors, but if you prefer neutrals to bright colors, consider a white bike instead of black.
There are many benefits of riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, safety isn’t one of them. Although other drivers should be aware and cautious around you when you’re riding, that isn’t always the case. There are plenty of things you should do to make sure both you and your bike are more visible on the road so you can avoid a potentially deadly accident.