There is nothing motorcyclists love more than navigating scenic roads on their bikes with the increasing feeling of adrenaline and excitement running through their blood. However, sometimes to even get to those roads bikers have to deal with congestion and traffic which not only can be a nightmare but also requires some pretty premium riding skills, confidence and awareness. Since May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, here are a few safety tips we compiled for riding your motorcycle in traffic.
Do not expect other drivers to be on the lookout for you on a motorcycle, so make sure you get noticed by wearing a Hi-Viz Motorcycle Jacket and/or a Hi-Viz Motorcycle Helmet. High-visibility colors are the best way to be noticed during the day. Yellow, is the most visible to the human eye and is probably your best choice color to choose. Adding reflectivity to your riding gear with reflective tape gear kits is also a good idea. Also, one of the additional pluses of wearing synthetic riding gear is that they often involve reflective fabrics or high visible fabrics that can increase visibility.
The more you see the more you can predict, so by adding space between you and the bumper in front of you (and we mean more than three feet of space), you’ll be able to see more of the road and environment in front of you. Gaps between you and the car in front of you are almost essential for quick reactions and narrow escapes and also provide you with ample room for maneuvering. Plus, if you are only two or three feet away from the car in front of you and the driver slams on the breaks, your odds are not looking good and your options may be limited. No motorcyclist wants to end up as a hood ornament, so staying a safe distance in between cars is probably one of the smartest strategies when dealing with traffic or congested roads.
You can never predict how other drivers are going to react on the road, especially in traffic. Looking at other drivers’ head movements through their windows and mirrors is an excellent way to anticipate any sudden moves. Screaming children, texting and cell phone conversations are just a few distractions for drivers, so be on the lookout for distracted drivers and ride defensively.
When traffic begins to suddenly slow your best bet is to stay to the left or right in the car in front of you instead of the center. By doing so, this will keep you from being hit from behind and gives you enough room for an escape route if needed.
What are your tips or experiences about riding in traffic? Drop us a line below!