Riding a motorcycle is exhilarating. But riding a motorcycle requires focus and vigilance. Today, there are high traffic levels and many drivers are on cell phones, drinking coffee, pop, tuning in the stereo and performing a million other distracting tasks. Distracted drivers have a difficult time seeing cars, let alone motorcycles. Alabama motorcyclists rack up a lot of miles throughout the year, so you should take a smart approach when you ride.
You can implement many important and useful strategies, so your ride is safe and fun.
- Alertness: You shouldn't ride when you're tired, sick or distracted. Your life and well-being are at stake. You need to be keenly focused on the road environment and your riding tasks.
- Observe drivers: You can get a good indication of a driver's intent and level of attentiveness. Simply watch the driver's head movements and watch them in the mirrors of the car.
- Quick access to brakes: Have a finger on top of the brake lever and a foot at the ready for the rear brake. In a panic stop situation, you need to access both brakes quickly.
- Be visible: While it may not be fashionable, a high-vis orange or green vest is hard not to notice, and many drivers can't help but see you on the road.
- High-beam activated: You may not think it's necessary to ride around during the day with the high beam headlight on. When you do, your bike will stand out to motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and others.
- Conscious separation: When the traffic conditions dictate, accelerate to open space on the road, so you don't have the potential risk of other cars right around. And you should always put distance between yourself and a semi.
- Road placement: You shouldn't find yourself between a motorist and an off ramp. Drivers in cars often dive bomb ramps or exits unpredictably, and you don't want to be in their path.
- Escape lanes: Drivers can do all sorts of erratic and illogical things on the road. In an emergency situation, you do not have to stay in your lane. Look for lane out of the situation.
- Analyze the road: You should study the road conditions for potholes, expansion cracks, oil, radiator fluid, and all the other things that could provide a nuisance or loss of control.
The above strategies are solid guidance for riding safely protecting yourself while on the road. But these tips above are just a few of sage and savvy techniques you should practice when riding a motorcycle on the street. Your family, friends and other people in your life want you to return home safe and sound.