Anyone riding in a motor vehicle takes their life in their hands when they get behind the wheel. However, motorcyclists are at even more risk than other drivers on the road.
Motorcycles offer less protection in the event of a crash and are often less visible to people in bigger vehicles, which means that even good motorcycle drivers are at risk of getting severely hurt on the road.
A few strategic defensive driving habits could go a long way toward reducing your risk of getting badly hurt while out cruising on your motorcycle.
Try to make yourself visible or noticeable
Visibility campaigns advising drivers to look twice to save a life help remind people that they need to check their surroundings for motorcycles. You can also help draw the attention of nearby drivers by wearing bright colors, integrating bright colors into your motorcycle or even having reflective gear.
Some motorcyclists also choose to maximize the amount of noise that their motorcycle makes in order to ensure that nearby drivers can hear them even if they don’t see them.
Always make sure your bike and gear are in tip-top condition
You need to know that your tires can grip the road properly for quick maneuvering, that your brakes are ready to stop on a dime and that your helmet can take the brunt of an impact if you can’t avoid a crash. Routinely inspecting both your motorcycle and your safety gear before you go out for a ride can help you identify risk factors and prevent issues before they arise.
Making sure that you always wear a helmet and that you replace your gear as it shows signs of age or after you get into a crash can help keep you safer on the road.
Drive with confidence, but don’t be aggressive
The safest driver is someone who pays close attention to road circumstances around them and makes quick decisions about their next maneuver. You don’t want to start to merge only to pull back into the lane you were previously driving in. That puts you at risk for a number of different problems.
Once you decide to turn, merge or pass another vehicle, you need to commit to that decision and take decisive action. That doesn’t mean you should be aggressive. You should assume that other drivers won’t notice you and will make dangerous mistakes. Make sure that you wait when necessary to know what other drivers are going to do, especially at intersections or when traffic merges.
Waiting an extra half-second at an intersection to make sure that the SUV across from you could be the difference between reaching your destination safely and getting severely hurt while riding your motorcycle in a crash caused by another driver.