Summer and fall are great times to take your motorcycle on the road. At the same time, it is important to pay attention to safety and think about ways to avoid some common risks motorcyclists face.
Among the top reasons motorcyclists end up in a crash is their low visibility. Drivers behind the wheels of cars, trucks and vans simply fail to notice the relatively small motorcycle, often with disastrous results. Increasing your visibility can let other drivers know of your presence and help avoid collisions.
Put away the standard black gear many motorcyclists use. Eye-catching gear in high-visibility neon colors does a far better job of standing out. Some gear also comes with a glow-in-the-dark feature, making this gear visible both in daylight and at night. Opt for red and yellow colors over blue tones to stand out more to the human eye.
Another way to add visual impact is by using a pulsing headlight modulator. There is a reason emergency vehicles use flashing lights to command instant attention. A headlight modulator is less disruptive, but still highly effective at catching attention.
In general, make sure you use a bright headlight, including during daylight hours. Increased wattage or LED power may provide enhanced brightness, but it is not always legal. Be sure to check your motorcycle’s wiring to ensure compatibility.
Another modern option is installing dual-lighting LED turn lights. They provide a bright running light during the times you are not using them to signal a turn. These lights boost visibility by creating a wider lighting profile.
Sound is another way to let surrounding vehicles know your proximity. Purchase an air horn that produces a loud sound that drivers will hear over the noises of traffic.
Finally, it pays to remain aware of your positioning relative to other drivers. Make an effort to stay out of other vehicles’ blind spots, and be aware that larger vehicles such as commercial trucks have extensive blind spots on all sides; if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s side mirror, he or she likely cannot see you, either.