Many people own motorcycles for commuting back and forth to work and home; however, some motorcyclists own bikes for the pure enjoyment of cruising the roads with friends and other like-minded people. While sharing the open road with a buddy following close behind may be a wonderful time, it can also be a dangerous time. This is because motorcyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users—even when riding in groups.
While there is safety in numbers, as multiple small motorcycles become more visible to other motorists, traffic accidents still occur when motorcyclists ride in groups. With National Motorcycle Ride Day fast approaching, and seeing that it is a day for motorcyclists to enjoy the camaraderie that comes with owning a motorcycle, we would like to remind motorcyclists who will be participating in a group ride of several safety tips.
This October 10, 2015, and every time you ride in a group with other motorcyclists, please follow these group riding safety tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation:
- Organize the ride. This can include talking about the route you will take as well as planning your fuel stop and other breaks.
- Ride in formation. When creating your staggered riding formation, it is beneficial to have the experienced riders at the front and back of the group (running as the lead and sweep).
- Avoid riding side-by-side, as it doesn’t leave enough room for each rider to maneuver side-to-side safely. However, side-by-side is recommended when entering and exiting a highway or when the group comes to a complete stop at an intersection due to space. When the light turns green, the formation should return to a staggered one.
- Keep your group manageable. If the group ride is too large, it can be a problem and should be broken up into sub-groups (each with a leader and tail rider).
- Review hand signals that will be used on the ride so that everyone knows how to communicate on the road and is on the same page.
- Prepare the tail rider with a tool kit, first-aid kit, and cell phone in case one of the riders has a breakdown or is involved in a motorcycle accident.
- Discuss parking. Parking with a group of riders can be dangerous, so make sure you have researched the parking situation at your destination and reviewed your plan with your group.
While following these safety tips can help reduce your chances of being in a motorcycle crash while traveling in a group of riders, it doesn’t prevent you from being in a wreck due to someone else’s negligence. So that you can help others stay as safe as possible, please share this information and these group riding safety tips with other motorcyclists on Facebook.