Motorcyclists must always be vigilant when it comes to safe driving. Cars and trucks often weigh four times as much as motorcycles — if not much more — and so a crash between the two puts the rider at serious risk of injury. A rider is only as safe as the drivers around him or her.
For this reason, defensive driving is crucial. This is the act of seeking to avoid a crash or a hazardous situation, even if that exceeds the technical law for that situation. A rider may need to take that extra step to avoid a crash around negligent drivers — of which there are far too many.
How you can stay safe on your motorcycle
To help you stay safe this year, consider the following defensive driving tips:
- Stay alert. Keep your eyes up and on a swivel, always looking at the cars around you for signs of danger, such as a driver who is looking down at his phone.
- Wear bright clothes. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is be more visible to drivers who may not be paying the best attention.
- Keep an eye on stopped vehicles that are waiting to turn. They may turn left in front of the bike. Even if you have the right of way, watch them so that you can react as soon as they make that mistake.
- Don’t ride aggressively. Give yourself extra space from the vehicles around you and always follow the speed limit. When you drive in a careful, controlled manner, it’s easier to avoid the errors of those around you.
- When possible, take roads you’re already familiar with. The better you know the route, the more attention you can give to the cars you’re sharing that road with.
When you ride with your focus on staying safe, you can drastically reduce the odds of an accident, which in turn lowers the chances of a catastrophic injury. Unfortunately, though, you cannot guarantee that another driver will not cause an accident through their own negligence, so you also need to know how to seek financial compensation in the event that such a crash occurs.