Motorcycle accidents are common occurrences. New York state saw more than 4,600 motorcycle accidents in 2017 alone. When the driver of a car does not notice someone on a motorcycle, the consequences can be devastating. Most motorists are only in the habit of scanning the road for other cars or trucks, and smaller vehicles like motorcycles get completely passed over.
Because of this, motorcyclists need to take extra precautions to be as visible as possible. This is especially true at night, when visibility is already low. Sadly, colliding with a car usually results in serious injuries for the motorcyclist. You cannot control other vehicles on the road, but you can take steps to keep yourself safe.
Since May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, it is a good time to consider safe driving tips. In the following post, we will provide a guide to how to make yourself more visible to cars when you’re on a motorcycle.
Wear Reflective Gear
When you are riding a motorcycle, wearing reflective clothing and gear is very important. Bright surfaces will help drivers to notice you. While some motorcyclists prefer black, it is a low-visibility color. When it comes to riding a motorcycle, it is more important to be safe than “cool.”
If a driver changes lanes with only a quick glance, they may not notice a motorcyclist who is wearing black. The more reflective surfaces your clothing is, the more likely it is that motorists will see you.
Bright colors like yellow and orange are most likely to increase your visibility. In many contexts, these colors are used to grab people’s attention. Drivers are conditioned to notice these reflective colors, such as on construction cones or yield signs, and be more cautious as a result.
Ride a Brightly Colored Motorcycle
Wearing bright colors is an excellent start to increase your visibility, but riding a bike that is brightly colored is even better. While it’s more of an investment than a reflective helmet, instead of looking at black or silver bikes, purchase one in a bold color like yellow or red.
Use Reflective Tape
If you already own a motorcycle and motorcycle gear in neutral, non-reflective colors and can’t afford to replace it all with brightly colored gear, reflective tape is a simple and effective tool to make you more visible on the road.
It is a good idea to put reflective tape on the front of your forks. Any portion of your motorcycle that protrudes is an excellent place for reflective tape.
Even if you own a brightly colored bike, it can still help to add reflective tape. While reflective tape does not drastically increase visibility in the daytime, at night it is an excellent safety tool. Using reflective tape to create a wheel rim stripe is especially helpful. The wheels of your motorcycle are usually unobscured. Therefore, they provide an opportunity to increase your visibility.
Try to Avoid Blind Spots
Typical passenger vehicles have blind spots. These are areas on the roadway that the driver cannot see with the use of their side or rearview mirrors. In order to be aware of someone in their blind spot, a motorist has to turn their head and look.
While responsible drivers will thoroughly check their blind spot before turning or changing lanes, not all motorists are responsible. Even if they glance quickly, they might not notice you if they are not used to looking for motorcyclists.
Clearly you may not be able to avoid riding in blind spots at all times. But you should never stay in a vehicle’s blind spot for longer than is absolutely necessary. Pass quickly and find a road position where all other drivers around you can see you.
Lights and Sound
Beyond bright and reflective surfaces, there are other tools to increase your visibility. Use the features of your motorcycle that involve light and sound to get the attention of other drivers. For example:
- Honk your horn
- Flash your headlights
- Use your high beams
- Tap your brakes when slowing or coming to a stop
Putting these tips into action will make you much more visible when you are on a motorcycle. However, in some cases, motorcyclists get injured by another driver’s negligence, no matter how visible they make themselves.
Contact a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a collision because of someone else’s negligent driving, you have the right to pursue compensation. For premier legal representation, contact the skilled New York motorcycle accident attorneys at Catalano Law.
Our team of accomplished motorcycle accident lawyers will develop a persuasive legal case for you. You should not face the financial costs from an injury that another party caused all alone.
Call our friendly staff members to schedule your free legal consultation. We are prepared to examine the circumstances of your personal injury claim and fight for you.