The roads continue to be dangerous for motorcycle riders. Texting while driving, distracted driving, excessive speeds, and failure to pay attention to others on the roadway lead to tens of thousands of crashes every year. As motorcycle riders, we must remain extra vigilant with regards to those around us on the road.
Here are 6 tips to ride defensively.
- Constantly monitor the road around and ahead of you. Keep your eyes open and stay aware of other vehicles on the roadway and potential road hazards like potholes or oily patches. In addition, scan the horizon for animals or children playing.
- Do not tailgate! Allow ample space and do not follow closely to other vehicles. If they stop short, you may find yourself crashing into them if you are following too closely. Also, be sure to avoid the blind spots of the cars around you. Remaining seen is one of the most important factors in defensive riding.
- Allow for an escape route. Always keep your eye out for a potential escape route. Think about how you would handle a road hazard: is there space to maneuver around it? Could you move onto the curb to avoid a hazard? Are the lanes surrounding you open? It is important to keep your mind fresh and aware of escape routes regularly so that if a problem does occur and you need to maneuver out of the roadway, you are prepared.
- Increase your skills. Participate in motorcycle training courses and ride your bike regularly. One of the best ways to be a better rider is to simply get out there on the road and experience some challenging situations. Practice makes for a better biker. Motorcycle safety courses are incredibly valuable, as well, and will help prepare you to be able to handle any situation you might encounter.
- Avoid areas of heavy congestion. Try to ride on less-traveled routes and avoid traffic, if possible. Less congested roadways present fewer hazards and allow for greater room between you and others on the road. One of the keys to safe riding is creating a buffer between you and other vehicles.
- Avoid hazardous road conditions. This seems like common sense, but avoid dangerous road conditions. The first few minutes of a rain are the most dangerous, as oils and debris on the roadway mix with water to create slick conditions. If possible, stop and avoid riding at this time. If you cannot safely see the road around you due to heavy rain, stop and wait for the worst of the weather to pass. Also, try to avoid excessively windy conditions that may cause your bike to drift on the roadway.
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The above tips will help you ride your bike more defensively and may make a difference in avoiding a crash. If you ARE involved in an accident, remember to contact Kass & Moses – the team of nationwide motorcycle crash lawyers who are bikers, too!