Motorcyclists are often considered vulnerable road users, and they can be. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept the dangers of riding a bike. You can do things to make yourself more visible to drivers, and this article has ways to help you be more visible.
Road Visibility Tips for Motorcyclists
A road is a dangerous place for any vehicle, but it is even more dangerous for motorcyclists. The risks are obvious: speeding, distractions, road conditions, etc. Why are motorcyclists more vulnerable to these dangers? The answer is visibility.
Riding in the summer months is an adventure; however, making yourself known as a motorcyclist when you’re out on the road is a little trickier than just wearing a helmet. Also, there are few things more terrifying and disorienting than attempting to ride a motorcycle in the dark at night. There are many things you can do to improve your visibility to other motorists.
Here are 5 ways to stay visible on the roads as a motorcyclist:
- Wear bright clothing. As a motorcyclist, safety is one of your top priorities on the road. You want to know how to get noticed by other drivers in the dark, and you want to stay visible on the road. You should wear bright-coloured clothing to stand out on the roads as a motorcyclist, so other traffic can easily see you. Bright clothing doesn’t have to be worn by a fashionista, and anyone can wear it. The key is to choose the right clothing visible from the sides of the back of the motorcycle. The best colours are neon orange or bright yellow: these are the most visible colours from both the front and the back of a motorcycle, even when it’s dark.
- Use a helmet with attached lights. You can purchase a helmet that has attached lights that are visible to the driver. As a motorcyclist, you may have an accident. That’s why you need to be visible on the road. You need to wear your helmet and safety gear, have all the lights on your bike working and see other road users. That’s why the helmet has a flashing light that is triggered by motion sensors. To make the light brighter, you can use a strobe light.
- Avoid blind spots. You’ve seen those signs that say, “Stay out of the right lane,” but do you know what’s going on under the hood? Although you may think that you’re driving safely, the truth is a vehicle’s blind spots can open when you switch lanes. As a motorcycle rider, you may have been warned not to ride in the blind spots of other cars, but did you know you can also keep yourself out of the way of other drivers? Blind spots are out of sight from the driver but are still clearly in view of the driver’s front, back, and side mirrors. While you can’t see them when you’re driving, other drivers can see them.
- Use high-intensity beam headlights. It’s a common practice for motorists and bikers alike to use high-intensity beam headlights as a means to remain visible. While this is a great way to prevent being hit from behind by a motorist or overtaken by a motorcyclist, it can also be used to direct motorcyclists onto the correct path or warn other motorists about their presence.
- Use high-visibility bikes using reflective tape. For motorcyclists, there is no benefit to riding with the lights off. Visibility is enhanced when you use high-visibility bikes, such as those with reflective decals or reflective tape.
Motorcycling is a great way to enjoy the open road and the feeling of freedom it brings, but if you ride a bike, you need to pay attention to the road at all times. If you ride a motorcycle, you are more visible than someone driving a car, but you need to use that visibility to help prevent accidents and keep yourself safe.
Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users. Their lack of protection and visibility makes them an easy target for all types of road users, and, as a result, the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on our roads is rising. Staying visible is the most effective way of staying safe on the roads and follows the 4-Way Test that all drivers should follow. Regularly checking and maintaining your motorcycle, loading it with suitable equipment, and ensuring you have the right protective clothing and accessories are the keys to staying safe.