The advantages of the motorcycle such as its high maneuverability and high acceleration have a flip side. Its high maneuverability, the result of having two wheels, means it’s unstable compared to a car. Debris and road surface conditions that cars handle with ease, can knock a rider off his bike. The motorcycle’s high acceleration, the result of its small mass compared to its engine power, means that it’s at a higher risk of getting in an accident because its small size makes it less visible than a car. Its small size also means that accidents with cars tend to have very severe consequences.
Because motorcyclists don’t benefit from the protection systems of cars, they must compensate by riding more defensively than when driving a car. Here are three defensive riding tips for avoiding motorcycle accidents.
Be Especially Alert at Intersections
Most motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. They are complex situations where cars are trying to beat traffic signals and each other to get through. These circumstances plus your small size, means you must assume that other cars don’t see you.
When making a left turn in front of a car, do it with plenty of clearance so that you will get through even if the motorist doesn’t see you. You can also read the intentions of other motorists by looking at their faces. Are they 100% focused on other traffic rather than you? Their positioning and the angle of their front wheels also indicate their intentions to either turn or drive straight through.
Although black is a classic color in motorcycling, it is the least visible in all lighting conditions. Bikes, clothing, and helmets that are covered with bright vibrant colors have the highest visibility. Lime-green is also a good choice. Reflective strips will enhance visibility, especially at night. Remember to keep your headlights on during the day.
Be Aware of the Blind Spots of Cars and Trucks
Your small size means you are more easily hidden within blind spots. Remember that if you can’t see the face of a motorist in her window, then she can’t see you. Minimize your time in blind spots if you can, and be prepared for unexpected maneuvers. Be aware that a car’s front pillars on either side of its windshield can also cause a blind spot if it’s in the driver’s line of sight of their view of you.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident and need advice, contact us to learn more about your options.