What’s the most usual explanation from the automobile driver who just turned in front of a motorcyclist? “Gee, officer, I didn’t see him.”
It’s a sad truth. We’re not as big as a Mack truck, but we are visible. However, too often motorists don’t see us because they aren’t looking for motorcycles.
You have to attract their attention.
All motorcycle headlamps in recent years are hard-wired, which means that the headlight goes on whenever the engine goes on. If you have an earlier model, turn that headlight on every time you go out. It helps – even on a bright, sunny day!
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: wear bright clothing and utilize retroreflective material (it shines when a beam of light hits it) whenever appropriate. The biggest thing that a following driver usually sees is your back. Make it stand out.
Always signal your intentions. Change lanes or make a turn using your turn signals. You want to be sure that the people around you know what you are about to do.
And it helps to assist your turn signals with hand signals at times. Remember to cancel your signals when you’ve completed your maneuver, otherwise drivers are getting false information from you…and you could cause yourself trouble.
Don’t be shy about using your horn in some situations. If drivers are dozing, or about to pull an unthinking maneuver, give them a BEEP. You want to make them aware of what they are doing. And of your presence.
Position your motorcycle where it can be seen. Don’t put yourself behind a large truck or ride in the blind spot of a vehicle near you. Get out there, take up a whole lane, make yourself seen.
Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation eNews