Take longer to look for motorcycles
Riding a motorcycle can be a great way to get around.
However, dealing with other motorists and keeping yourself safe can be especially nerve-wracking.
Unfortunately, you can’t always predict what the driver in front of you will do - but there are several ways you can make sure you’re as safe as possible when you’re on the roads.
Taking the time to ensure you and your bike are highly visible to all drivers can make a huge difference to your journeys. It may seem simple, but it will pay off.
Here are the top 10 ways to stay visible and protected when you’re on the road.
Remember, always be a responsible rider, keep your motorcycle in good condition, and only source parts from trusted manufacturers like IMD Pistons to reduce the risk of accidents.
Wearing a hi-vis vest or helmet might not be the look you’re after, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure that other drivers can spot you - even on gloomy days or at night.
Opt for colours like red or orange that will stand out from the road and the landscape around you. You should also opt for garments that have hi-vis piping or reflective strips attached - as these reflect light and will really boost your visibility.
This is a cost-effective and fast solution to becoming more visible on your motorcycle.
Reflective rim tape is cheap, easy to install, and will make a huge difference to how well other drivers can notice you.
Tape anything not in line with your body, and focus on areas that stick out or get the most light.
Adding some extra lights can make you more noticeable on the road.
Sidelights, daytime running lights, and helmet light kits can all massively increase your visibility to other drivers. Try to choose lights that work well at all times of the day, to ensure they’re as effective as possible.
Stopping and starting can be tricky when you’re on a small vehicle, and are trying to be seen by other motorists.
A good way to ensure that you’re noticed by the drivers around you is to do a slight weave within your lane before you stop at a junction or intersection.
The movement from your headlight will attract the attention of any other motorists - alerting them to your presence, and reminding them to take care when passing you.
Leaving a considerable buffer between the front of your motorcycle and the bumper of the vehicle ahead gives you ample time to react to any obstacles or changes in circumstance on the road.
It also prevents the vehicle in front from hiding you from the view of any upcoming traffic.
Never be afraid to use your hands as indicators - sometimes they can be easier to notice than any indicator lights.
Make a clear gesture to show others how you intend to move - but always take care not to stick your arm into harm's way.
At the very least, using hand signals is a good way to ensure other motorists are paying attention to your actions - especially if you suspect they may be distracted or texting whilst driving.
It’s there for a reason!
Sounding your horn is one of the best ways to attract attention on the road - especially if you’re concerned that drivers might be missing any visual signals.
No matter how reflective your gear is - if you’re hiding in a blind spot - other drivers will still be unable to see you.
Never tailgate others, especially if they’re driving a large truck or van, as they most likely can’t see you.
Always drive carefully within your lane, and ensure you’re not being hidden from oncoming traffic.
Just like your bike gear, your motorcycle itself must be visible too.
Blue or black motorcycles may look sleek, but if you’re going to be riding at night a lot, you may want to rethink. Brighter coloured models can still look great - and they’ll be sure to stand out from their surroundings, even in low light conditions.
Another driver is far more likely to notice a bright yellow bike than a dark coloured one.
According to some experts, it’s best if motorcyclists use their full beams at all times - even on a sunny day.
It does run the risk of aggravating other drivers, but it may be worth it to ensure that you’re as visible as possible!
You can’t control how much attention others pay to the road. However, you can control how prepared you are for riding in all conditions.
Ensuring you and your vehicle are as visible as possible, paying attention to your surroundings, and riding with care are the best ways to keep both yourself and others safe on the road.
Try to opt for brighter bikes and gear, pick up some rim tape, and don’t forget your hi-vis - but also remember to ride responsibly.
When it comes to avoiding accidents - your road conduct is just as important as your physical visibility.