When you ride your motorcycle, you must be hyper-aware of potential dangers on the road. These dangers include loose gravel, fallen tree branches, potholes, ice, puddles, and oil spills, just to name a few. But all of these dangers combined still don’t add up to the dangers that riders face from inattentive and negligent drivers.
There are two ways to protect yourself from dangerous drivers when you ride: wearing full safety gear and ensuring that you’re easily seen by drivers from long distances. Drivers are notoriously bad at noticing motorcyclists, so it’s up to you to make yourself stand out against the backdrop of Montgomery’s highways and interstates.
Wearing safety gear can accomplish two things. First, it protects you in the event of a crash. Second, it makes you easier to see if it’s brightly colored and reflective. Although all-black getups may look sleek, they aren’t ideal for making you and your bike easily visible, especially on dark asphalt.
Colors such as red, yellow, and orange tend to stand out the most on roadways, making them good choices for your helmet, jacket, or even your motorcycle itself. If you already own equipment and don’t want to purchase new gear, consider adding large decals and reflectors to it to increase your visibility to other drivers.
Your headlight isn’t just important for illuminating your path at night—it’s also important for making you more easily seen by other drivers. Make it a habit to turn it on anytime you ride, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. Bright headlights make motorcycles a little more visible even on a bright sunny day, and every bit of visibility you can add to yourself and your bike can further reduce your risk of an accident.
All passenger vehicles have blind spots. And although many newer vehicles are equipped with blind-spot warning and detection systems, drivers don’t always pay attention to them. It’s best to assume that drivers can’t see you if you’re anywhere near their blind spots, which include the areas just behind the driver and passenger side windows.
Semi-trucks and very large passenger vehicles have more and bigger blind spots. They run longer along the length of both their driver and passenger sides, and they also may include the areas directly in front and behind them. Keep these blind spots in mind every time you ride.
One of the best ways to become and remain visible to other drivers is to be predictable and maintain a steady speed. If you’re riding on a multi-lane highway or interstate, stick to the same lane for as long as possible, and ride centered within it. Drivers near you will be more likely to see you and remember your location and less likely to cut you off or drift into your lane when you remain a steady presence nearby.
Making yourself visible to other drivers is an uphill battle that every rider faces. Because of the importance of being seen by everyone you share the road with, it’s important to avoid making choices that make you more difficult to be seen.
If you can help it, don’t ride at dusk, during the night, or at dawn, and stay home when it’s foggy or raining. Although there’s no guarantee a negligent driver will see you when it’s 72 degrees and sunny outside, you have a better chance of being noticed when visibility is perfect than you do when it’s limited in any way.
As a motorcyclist, you’re responsible for your safety. You can’t count on other drivers to always be 100% focused on the road or watching out for riders like you, even though they are required to. But that also means when their negligence causes them to hit you while you’re on your motorcycle, you can sue them for your accident-related damages, including your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At Vance Law Firm, our Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyers work hard to help injured bikers get maximum compensation after crashes that weren’t their fault. If you or someone you love was hurt while riding, you need a law firm that will work hard to protect your rights against the uncooperative insurance company and help you get the money you’re owed. Contact us today for a free consultation.