How to Be Seen by Other Drivers While Riding Your Motorcycle

by NPHM | June 15th, 2020

As a motorcyclist, you face many hazards on Ohio’s roadways. Slick asphalt, potholes, fallen tree branches, loose gravel, and even animals crossing the road can all result in serious and potentially life-threatening accidents and injuries. But there’s no greater threat to riders than drivers in cars, trucks, and SUVs who don’t pay attention to their surroundings.

Reducing your risks of being struck by inattentive drivers is all about grabbing their attention any way you can. The best way to do that is to make yourself as visible as possible. Drivers are accustomed to being on the lookout for other passenger vehicles, whether they’re making a left turn, yielding before merging, or changing lanes. But they don’t always extend that courtesy or caution to motorcyclists.

Tips for Improving Your Visibility to Other Drivers

It’s true that motorcycles have a much smaller profile than even some of the smallest passenger vehicles. However, as a motorcyclist, you have no shortage of ways to make yourself as visible as possible to the people you share the road with, including:

  • Ride a brightly-colored bike—If you’re in the market for a new motorcycle, consider one that’s brightly-colored. Motorcycles that are a dark or neutral color can easily blend in with the surrounding area, especially at night or during times of reduced visibility. Bright colors are recognized by the human eye faster than neutral colors, and a split second can be the difference between life and death when you’re on a bike.
  • Wear brightly-colored equipment—You already know how important it is to wear all the gear, all the time. So why not make that gear serve a double purpose? In addition to protecting you during a crash, your gear can also make you less likely to be involved in a crash to begin with if it’s bright and reflective.
  • Make your bike reflective—Reflectors aren’t just for bicycles—they’re also important safety components on motorcycles. By attaching actual reflectors or reflective tape to your bike, you can make yourself more visible and significantly improve your safety.
  • Use your lights and ensure they work—Lights are motorcyclists’ best friends. In addition to illuminating your path at night or during inclement weather, they also make it much easier for drivers to see you. Before you ride, always inspect your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. If any are defective or burned out, replace them ASAP.
  • Avoid blind spots—All vehicles have blind spots, from small compact coupes all the way up to big tractor-trailers. Learn to recognize those blind spots and stay out of them whenever possible. Common blind spots include just behind the driver’s side door, a car’s length behind the passenger’s side door, and directly in front of and behind large vehicles.
  • Pick safe times to ride—Don’t ride at night if you can avoid it. Avoiding early morning and evening rides can also improve your safety. The safest time to ride is well after the sun has risen until around an hour before sunset. It’s also important to stay on top of weather forecasts and avoid riding when rainfall, snow, or fog are expected.

You can also utilize your horn and hand signals to make drivers more aware of your presence. For example, blowing your horn can alert a driver that they’re weaving into your lane, while hand signals can function as turn signals or to safely wave drivers through at intersections if you’re unsure whether they’ve seen you.

Even the Safest Motorcyclists Face Risks, But We’re Here to Help

Improving your visibility can greatly reduce your risks of being struck by an inattentive or distracted driver. But as a motorcyclist, you face many big disadvantages on Ohio’s highways and interstates, and for some riders, those disadvantages add up until they’re inevitably involved in a crash.

Because almost all motorcyclists are eventually involved in accidents, it’s vital to always wear full safety gear and to be prepared to contact an experienced Ohio motorcycle accident attorney right away. Injured motorcyclists face not only the typical resistance from insurance companies when it comes to getting compensation for their medical bills and lost wages, but they also face an unfair bias.

We’ve Protected Riders From Unfair Judgments for Decades

Insurers often wrongly believe that motorcyclists are responsible for their own crashes, even when evidence suggests otherwise. That means injured riders often face a steep uphill battle from the get-go. They may find that adjusters ignore them or don’t take them seriously, and that can make getting much-needed compensation feel difficult or impossible.

The Ohio motorcycle accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy don’t stand for that type of treatment, especially when it happens to innocent victims. When you contact us, we’ll collect evidence that leaves no doubt about who or what caused your crash. Then, we’ll push to get you maximum compensation for your accident-related expenses. Contact us today at 216-621-2300 for a free consultation.