Ride to Work Day Showcases Need for Motorcycle Safety

Posted on June 17, 2013

If you noticed an increase in the number of motorcyclists on the road today, you’re not imagining things.  Today was Ride to Work Day, an event that invites motorcyclists to do just that in order to spread awareness about the importance of safety, visibility, and sharing the road.  To help commemorate the event, the AAA Foundation has provided a number of safety tips that should limit accidents not only today, but this entire summer.

Visibility is one of the most important issues to consider.  If a driver is unable to see a motorcyclist, he or she is unable to safely operate around such vehicles.  For drivers, that means paying constant attention to blind spots, while for motorcyclists, it means putting on bright, reflective clothing that will naturally draw the eye.

Motorcyclists should take to the road in a mindset that other drivers can’t see them.  That way, every move can be geared toward ensuring visibility is improved.  To avoid blind spots, riders ought to monitor the left tire of a leading vehicle and stay in line with and keep a safe distance from such.

Although lane splitting is legal in the state of California, it might not always be the best idea.  When you crowd other vehicles, you leave yourself open to a potential calamity if an automobile operator makes a sudden move.  You thus should think twice before lane splitting; instead, leave space between you and other automobiles and let vehicles keep the lanes to themselves.

Many accidents take place at intersections.  Automobiles may pull out when the light turns green without looking for motorcycles.  It’s going to be up to riders to take extra caution when approaching an intersection.  If the light turns yellow, do what you can to stop in time, assuming that it’s possible to do so safely.

Improving your ability to make such rapid stops is also going to be an important part of encouraging safety.  Submit to one of the many courses around the state and the country which offer such instruction, or if you don’t want to do that, travel to an empty parking lot and practice.  Get up to speed before decelerating rapidly, and continue attempting the maneuver until you can do so without your tires sliding out from under you.

Be cognizant of obstacles that present themselves along the road.  A randomly strewn piece of debris is nothing for an automobile, but for a motorcyclist can turn dangerous.  If you’re riding at night, watch the movements of other vehicles; if their taillights suddenly shift, it could be a sign that you should do the same.

Finally, wear appropriate safety equipment.  A helmet and riding leathers are essential to protecting yourself in the event of an accident.

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