During the 15 years that I’ve been riding a motorcycle, I have seen and heard of many accidents. When people first find out that I ride a motorcycle they always bring up how they know someone who either laid down their bike, or how some driver ran into a biker.
Safety Tips for Automotive Drivers
Motorcycles are hard to see. Not all bikes are like a Harley Davidson with loud pipes (sorry metric riders), making them also hard to hear.
- When driving, motorists should keep a look out when changing lanes.
- If you are a pedestrian, you should always looks twice when crossing a street since motorcycles are hard to spot visually.
- Drivers should always review their blind spots with a head check, not just using your mirrors, for a rider.
- Always move over to the left lane when passing an on ramp since you may not be able to see a motorcycle rider merging into traffic.
Let’s cover night driving. As I mentioned, most bikes have only one head light, so they will be difficult to see. Always keep a look out.
- When turning left over oncoming traffic keep a look out for small lights. Motorcycles are hard to see from a distance. If the traffic is going 55 MPH it will be at your crossing within 10-15 seconds if within a quarter mile.
Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders
Here are some tips for riders that I have learned over the years from riding and taking a riders course.
- Always watch your road surface. Items like painted arrows, rail road crossings, sidewalks and tar repaired cracks could make your bike tires skid and make you lose balance, leading to crashing even if it has not been raining. I almost took a spill turning into a parking lot where there was concrete dust on the side walk and my front tire skidded out from under my bike.
- Never do a “panic stop” with your back brake. You will skid. Always get the bike to the upright position (especially if you are in a turn) and apply the front brake quickly. Before I took my riders class I skidded in a panic stop and a most slammed sideways into the back of a truck bumper.
- When leaving a parking lot and turning left, and traffic is stopped and the cars turning have left a space for you to turn left, the oncoming traffic will not be able to see you since the cars are blocking the view. Wait until the traffic moves or turn right and find a safe place to turn left (like a parking lot) to turn around.
- When stopped and turning left always check your rear view mirror for cars approaching you. They may not see you and getting rear ended by a car can make for a bad day.
- Always watch the weather report. Riding in high winds, rain or near freezing is bad mojo.
I hope this will help all of you ride safely. Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down.
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