Very often, motorcycle accidents are not at the fault of the motorcycle operator. Most accidents occur simply because the person driving the other vehicle didn’t see them. Here are some motorcycle safety tips for preventing a motorcycle accident:
1) Ride as if you were invisible
As stated earlier, far too often drivers in other vehicles will claim that they did not see the motorcyclist. This is due to a natural phenomenon called the “Looked but failed to see”, where someone can look directly at a motorcyclist or bicyclist and not see them. To prevent this from happening, motorcycle safety enthusiasts have encourages riders to act as if they were invisible while riding on the road.
Imagine you are riding towards an intersection and a vehicle in the opposite lane has it’s left turn signal on. The first thing you should do if you are imagining they cannot see you is to cover your clutch and both front and rear brakes. Very often if there is heavy traffic in an intersection I will do this and simple drift through the intersection, preparing for the worst.
2) Always plan an exit route
Constantly scanning your environment also plays a key factor in motorcycle safety. If you suspect you are entering a situation with higher risk of an accident, scan your environment for an exit route and plan accordingly. A good example of this is preventing a rear end collision at a stop light. This is a common accident that occurs when the motorist behind you thinks your motorcycle tail lights are actually apart of the vehicle in front of you.
For this reason I often stop at intersections with the front of the motorcycle pointing away from the car in front of me and slightly at an angle. This serves two purposes. First, by parking at an angle it ensures the person behind me will not confuse me for the vehicle in front. Second, if they do hit me, my bike will not become sandwiched between them and the car in front. Instead, I’ll be launched towards the direction my front wheel is pointing.
3) Wear high visibility gear, especially during bad weather
As we’ve already stated, motorcycles are difficult to see for the average motorist. This can multiply when you include bad weather. Getting stuck in the rain is inevitable when you put thousands of miles on a motorcycle each year. For this reason I always carry a hi visibility rain jacket under my seat. I’ve noticed while riding with it, other motorists are a lot more conscious of your presence.
Most accidents are the result of several different factors combined into a single accident. And if that accident involves another vehicle, far too often you will hear the excuse that they “did not see you”. While these tips can help to prevent an accident, sometimes an accident can be unpreventable by your account. This is why having a motorcycle accident lawyer can be especially helpful. If you, or someone you know, were involved in a motorcycle accident. Contact the law offices of Stambaugh Law today for a free no obligation consultation.
For more information on motorcycle safety, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.