10 Safety Tips for Street Riding
Riding a motorcycle in the streets can be challenging, frustrating, and even harrowing at times. Dealing with congested traffic and an influx of pedestrians is no easy feat, no matter how much of an experienced rider you are. That’s why it’s so important to review safety tips so you can be as safe as possible as you navigate the streets on your bike.
- Watch Drivers’ Head Movements: Motorists often make sudden moves. Keeping an eye on head movements, either through windows or mirrors, is a great way to anticipate a lane change.
- Be Noticeable: Many drivers and pedestrians aren’t actively looking out for motorcyclists. Therefore, it is partially your responsibility to be noticed. Wear bright and/or reflective motorcycle riding gear, particularly a jacket and helmet.
- Scan Your Environment: “The scan” is an essential skill to practice. Being constantly aware of all your surroundings will help you recognize and avoid hazards.
- Plan Escape Routes: You never know when something will go wrong. Plan different ways to stay safe in various situations. Braking, swerving, and just getting out of a specific area are potential ways to prevent accidents.
- Ride In a Lower Gear: When you’re in traffic, drop down to a lower gear so you have the torque necessary to instantly zip forward if necessary. The higher revs may also help alert others of your presence.
- Beware of Parked Cars: Don’t assume you are safer next to parked cars. You may get “doored.”
- Rely on Your Mirrors and Head Rotations:
- Be Ready to Brake: Keep your toe near the brake pedal and a finger hovering over the brake lever. You never know when you’ll need to brake suddenly.
- Pay Attention to the Surface: Watch out for spilled oil, gravel, and other surface hazards that may cause your bike to lose traction.
- Wear a Helmet: The best head protection will save your life if you get into an accident.
Considering and implementing these tips will make you a safer motorcyclist. Have a safe ride!