Motorcycles are small, agile, and fast, but the very same attributes that make them a blast to ride also puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to visibility. The majority of crashes between motorcycles and automobiles occur because the automobile driver didn't see the motorcyclist for one reason or another. To increase your chances of staying accident free, you should consider the following tips for increasing your visibility to other drivers.
Use Your Headlights During Daylight Hours
Nearly every new automobile currently sold comes equipped with daytime running lamps, a feature designed to increase vehicle visibility during the daytime. The same basic premise behind DRLs also applies to using your headlights during the daylight hours. In fact, many states require riders to have their headlights turned on whenever they ride.
Many people recommend using your high beams instead of your low beams, under the assumption that the angle and intensity of your high beams will grab an oncoming driver's attention faster. However, most states prohibit the use of your high beams in close proximity to other drivers. Another way you can get an oncoming driver's attention is by flashing your high beams, but this should be done sparingly.
Wearing Brightly Colored Gear Can Also Help
Decking yourself out in all-black gear might look cool, but there's also a good chance that it could make you invisible to other traffic. If you want to be seen by other drivers, your best bet is to don colorful gear that helps you stand out from the background. This also includes wearing reflective gear, such as a vest or jacket with light-reflecting elements incorporated into the design.
Make Your Bike Brightly Colored as Well
Motorcycles in muted or dark colors tend to blend into traffic all too well, making them all but invisible to drivers of larger and slower vehicles. Brightly colored motorcycles are far easier for other drivers to see, since the outrageous paint schemes and color choices are often hard to ignore.
If you can't bring yourself to give your motorcycle a coat of bright-red or neon-green paint, you may want to consider adding reflective tape on various portions of your motorcycle. This can help improve overall visibility, especially during those nighttime rides.
Stay Away from Blind Spots
What many drivers can't see, they'll assume is not there. This can be bad news for you if a vehicle decides to change lanes while you're lingering in their blind spot. These no-go zones often include the B, C, and D pillars of modern sedans and SUVs. Some vehicles may even have blind spots in the A pillar. Hanging out in these areas can dramatically increase your chances of being involved in a serious accident.
If you need to make a pass, you should do so as quickly and as safely as possible. Once you've made your pass, always position yourself so that you can be seen by the vehicle in front or behind you without being in their blind spot.
Move Back and Forth Within Your Own Lane
Staying in one spot while you're in your own lane can cause motion-induced blindness in the driver behind or in front you. In short, the driver's looking right at you, but you won't actually register in their consciousness until it's too late.
The solution to this problem involves separating yourself from the background through constant movement. To do this, you can simply weave back and forth a few feet in your own lane, especially as you're approaching another driver at an intersection. The weaving doesn't have to be drastic, and it should only be done if you can do it safely.
For more information about motorcycle laws and accidents, consult a motorcycle-accident attorney, such as one from Scherline And Associates.