5 Best Practices for Riding a Motorcycle

January 9, 2018

Riding a motorcycle holds an undeniable appeal, but it can also be a nightmare as you face a myriad of unpredictable situations that can pose an immediate danger to your health and well-being. You need to remain hyper aware of everything that is going on around you, from the movement of passing cars and pedestrians to changing traffic signals or that driver on his cellphone.

Of course, there are plenty of motorcycle accidents caused due to rider error, but the vast majority are caused by the actions of others which can lead to serious injury or even death for the more vulnerable motorcycle driver.

Whether you are new or old to the world of motorcycles, it is important that you stay vigilant, and practice defensive driving in order to ensure your own safety and security on the open road. Here are a few of the best practices for riding a motorcycle that go beyond the advice to always wear your helmet.

Be Visible

Most accidents involving motorcycles are due to the fact that the other driver simply didn’t see them, which 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, although be sure to turn it off when sitting behind someone in traffic.

Brightly colored gear also helps, especially the color of your jacket or helmet.

Be Ready

Be ready for sudden changes in speed, either slowing down or speeding up. The ability to react quickly, 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, which 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.

Running Interference

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.

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, as you may be able to predict their next move, 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 the McDonald’s drive-thru.

Don’t Get Between a Vehicle and an Offramp

This may seem like obvious advice, but many riders are killed every year 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. Simply ensure that you avoid doing so at this inopportune and potentially dangerous moments.

Motorcycles are a great way to enjoy the freedom of the road and by keeping these best practices in mind, you can help ensure that you will continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

Unfortunately, many motorcyclists suffer an accident at one point or another, often through no fault of their own. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, then it is important to contact a qualified and knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney like Fears Nachawati.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation by calling (866) 705-7584 or visiting one of our offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin.

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