Almost half of all motorcycle accidents are fatal. In fact, motorcycle riders are 34 times more likely to die in an accident compared to victims riding in a passenger vehicle. To remain safe on the roadway, bikers must be ready to instantly respond to any condition or factor when out riding. This means their visibility is crucial to their safety. But exactly how can they improve their visibility and avoid obvious hazards and dangers on the roadway?
Use Proper Gear
There is a certain unique joy to riding a motorcycle with the wind against your skin and the ground moving beneath your feet. However, motorcycles only provide minimal protection against a serious injury, and unlike a passenger vehicle with windows, seatbelts and airbags, bikers are left exposed to the elements that can cause serious injuries or death. Because of that, it is crucial to use proper gear including helmets, leathers and protective clothing that cannot be ripped away by the pavement in the event of an accident or spill.
In addition, it is crucial to wear eye protection to prevent flying debris when riding. Getting hit in the eye with dust, dirt or a bug can easily debilitate your vision and instantly reduce your safety while riding the bike. It is also essential to check for current weather conditions and dress appropriately like wearing rain gear on stormy days or getting off the road to wait out the passing of the storm.
Take Extra Precautions with a Passenger
Carrying a motorcycle passenger can potentially increase the risk of an accident because it is more challenging to maneuver the bike with an unbalanced distribution of weight. You should never carry a passenger on your motorcycle if it has not been properly designed to accommodate one. Many small motorcycles are only designed to handle a rider and a single passenger. Any more passengers can easily place all lives in danger.
It is the biker’s responsibility to ensure that their passengers wear a helmet at all times. In addition, the motorcyclist must instruct the passenger to remain in the correct position and avoid making sudden movements that could potentially tip the bike over while moving.
Remain Visible to Others on the Road
Visibility is a crucial factor to maintain safety while riding a motorcycle. Every biker must maximize their visibility to other sharing the roadway to avoid a collision. More than three out of four biker accidents occur to the motorcycle’s front end, indicating that most drivers simply cannot see the motorcyclist at all.
One effective solution for maximizing your visibility to increase your safety is to wear bright reflective clothing on your helmet, jacket, leggings and motorcycle. In addition, travel with your headlights on even during the day. These steps will increase your visibility on the road, especially during dark conditions.
One way to remain visible to everyone on the road is to travel a safe distance behind other vehicles so that other drivers can recognize you. This means you must maintain at least two seconds of travel time in speed behind the vehicle ahead when traveling 40 miles an hour or less. This distance increases to four seconds behind other vehicles when traveling on the highway. While this might appear to be overcautious, traveling a safe distance behind others has saved the lives of many motorcyclists.
Understand Your Motorcycle
No matter what the bike’s brand or make, every motorcycle has quarks and unusual tendencies while traveling. It is best to properly review the motorcycle’s manual so you come to know all of its ins and outs. Before taking out to the highway or side streets it is essential to check the fuel, oil and brake system to look for any abnormality, problem or broken component.
Finally, it is essential to stay legal and only operate your bike by maximizing your safety. Operate the bike only if you have been properly licensed to drive or operate the motorcycle. It is crucial to understand motorcycle laws and the rules of the road. While wearing a helmet is not required in Illinois, it can mean the difference between life and death if you are involved in a serious accident with injuries.