Stay Visible, Stay Alive on Your Motorcycle

There are approximately 240,000 motorcycles registered in the state of Illinois today. Motorcyclists ride not only to transport themselves and their passengers to destinations, but also for the sheer enjoyment of the ride. The freedom of the open road on a Closeup of a Motorcycle With Turn Signalsbeautiful day calls out to motorcyclists. However, the unlimited feeling motorcycles offer is also the very thing that can pose a threat to rider safety on the road.

Motorcycles are less stable and leave passengers less protected than other vehicles on the road, so when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, the results can be deadly. Over 4,300 motorcycle drivers and passengers died in crashes in 2013, and research suggests motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than passengers in cars.

Accidents are caused by a number of factors, but one commonly cited issue is a lack of visibility. Car drivers often say they simply didn’t see the motorcycle on the road, leading to a dangerous crash.

Staying Visible Can Mean Staying Alive

While a neon yellow safety vest may not go with the cool demeanor of a motorcycle, there are many ways to increase visibility on the road. Experts suggest being proactive and attracting the attention of other drivers in unobtrusive ways. Some ideas include:

  1. Wear bright clothing.
  2. Choose a bright headlight.
  3. Install a loud horn, and don’t be shy about using it.
  4. Use light reflective tape or decals on the bike.
  5. Use your headlight even during daylight hours.
  6. Install a headlight modulator.
  7. Wear glow-in-the-dark motorcycle gear at night.
  8. Avoid driving behind large trucks or commercial vehicles.
  9. Take up your entire lane.
  10. Use signals when changing lanes or turning.

Even with the best of intentions, accidents happen. Other drivers can be distracted, drowsy, or under the influence. Though a motorcyclist may do his best to drive defensively and remain visible, no one can control another’s actions. Do you have further tips or an experience to share? Connect with us on Facebook to help keep motorcyclists safe.