The wind whipping through your hair, the sun sparkling dazzlingly off the sleek, polished beast of a motorcycle below you, your hands wrapping tightly around the handlebars as you accelerate and whip through traffic like a gazelle through a herd of elephants… And then, a van attempts to make too hard of a left and, his attention too focused on the road, the driver doesn’t notice the “gazelle” until its too late. Trampled under the unrelenting wheels of van, crushed, perhaps never to ride again at all, but most definitely never to ride as you once did.
This has been the story of one too many motorcycle riders that put the excitement and the thrill ahead of their own safety. Or maybe some just didn’t learn how to become noticeable enough on their motorcycles so that fatal accidents didn’t happen. Regardless of the reason, the truth is that motorcycle riders don’t always manage to do the most they can to stay out of danger when riding. After all, its estimated that over 70% of motorcycle accidents happen between motorcycle riders and people driving passenger cars. But you can avoid this if you learn how to be more noticeable on your motorcycle.
So how do you stay safe on your motorcycle? The most effective way, as stated earlier, comes with notice-ability. Just like you can’t hope to avoid that nail in the road unless the sun glints off of it just right (unfortunately this never seems to happen quick enough to save your tire), so, too, do people miss the relatively small forms of motorcycles and their riders when they’re leaning back in their SUVs or vans or, God-forbid, semi trailer trucks. Even the most hapless, carefree driver to have hit the road would be hard pressed to deal damage to you if you are plainly capable of being seen, however. So now the question becomes: how do you be more noticeable on your motorcycle?
If its the day time rides you’re worried about, then the best way is to wear darker clothing that stands out and is pretty noticeable. The stereotypical leather attire may make you cringe (or if you’re like the Hell’s Angels, it’ll be right up your alley), but either way it works. White clothing works just as well in some cases- its reflective nature in bright sun may make vehicle drivers cringe away from you though, which you certainly don’t want. Also, don’t forget that driving with your headlight on may not be needed, especially if its sunny enough where you are to make the west coast jealous, but it is certainly another great way to make sure you are noticed on your motorcycle. The problem of how to be more noticeable on your motorcycle in the daylight is perhaps easily solved, but what about when you’re traveling in the evening or when its getting darker at dusk or just starting to light up at dawn?
If you want to be more noticeable on your motorcycle in the evening hours and early morning, then it’s best to wear a reflector vest. The same brightly colored orange and/or yellow vests you see on construction workers who happen to have a job near the street. These work to bend what light there is available on the dark roads to create visibility to those who are driving alongside you. It’s also important, if not a little obvious, that you keep your motorcycle’s headlight on with driving at night. Just doing that majorly increases your chances of avoiding an accident. Also, your motorcycles material may help you be more noticeable on your motorcycle- shiny chrome is common place and if you have anything made of it, then it’s a good bet staying clear of accidents is going to be easier for you!
Sight is not the only thing you can focus on, though. In day or night, you can get the attention of vehicle drivers by your engine! Many people know when a motorcycle is coming up behind them or beside them by the distinctive, loud throttle of the engine. You could throw out a “Yee-haw” if you wanted as well, for distinction to be more noticeable on your motorcycle.
Maintaining safety on your motorcycle may seem like a daunting task if you have never really focused on how to be more noticeable on your motorcycle, but after you get used to thinking safety before the thrill of racing across the highways on your motorcycle, it’ll become second nature to you. You may not even notice it!