Q: Is there a way that I can make sure my motorcycle and I are clearly visible to the surrounding traffic?
“Where did you come from?”
“Officer, he came out of nowhere!”
“I swear, I couldn’t see you.”
“It’s not my fault—your motorcycle is hard to see.”
As a motorcyclists, do any of these phrases sound familiar?
According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, motorcycles can be extremely hard to spot and may be one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in the United States. If a vehicle can’t see you, they can’t avoid hitting you.
So, what steps or preventative measures must you take to ensure that you and your motorcycle are safely visible to other cars?
How to Be Seen
It’s always better to be overly cautious than seriously injured. Follow these five simple visibility tricks to make sure you’re seen, rather than taking unnecessary risks and just hoping that other motorists notice you when riding your motorcycle.
- Wearing bright and reflective colors—especially at night—will aid in visibility.
- Turning on your headlights, even during daylight hours, can help motorists identify you better.
- Never ride parallel to another vehicle for too long, periodically speed up or slow down so the vehicle knows you’re still there. Riding for too long in a potential blind spot, can increase your chance of being forgotten about.
- When approaching an intersection, slow down, even if you have the right of way. This helps to make sure any vehicles who may be turning, have enough time to see you so they don’t turn in front of you.
- When stopped at an intersection, driveway, or exit, try to occupy the center of the lane as much as possible.
It may seem unnecessary to take extra visibility precautions just because you ride a motorcycle. If drivers just paid attention they’d see you. It’s not like your invisible, right? Unfortunately, this ideology won’t protect you if a driver looks past you or doesn’t notice you when he makes his turn. Protect yourself and help prevent a tragedy by taking the extra incentives to be seen. You won’t regret them.
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