Spring is here and as temperatures continue to rise, you have likely taken your motorcycle on a few trips. While you have no trouble getting back on the road after a long winter, other motorists may not be prepared to see you. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which encourages safe driving behaviors and highlights the specific dangers that riders face.
Based on figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, motorcycle riders are five more times likely to be injured during a crash than a car driver or passenger. This is due to a lack of enclosure, often coupled with poor weather conditions and reduced visibility.
As a motorcycle rider, here’s how you can stay safe and share the road with other drivers.
1. Think About Your Location
Motorcycles should be positioned for other vehicles to see them. Ride defensively, avoid riding in blind spots and use your blinker before changing lanes. To increase visibility:
- Keep your head on a swivel at all times.
- Do not lane split, which is illegal in Connecticut.
- Take care when passing a car or truck.
- Give yourself enough space from other vehicles.
Also make sure to stay off any painted lines, especially in the rain. When you come to a stoplight or stop sign, be aware the white stop line will be slippery, even if dry.
2. Know How Your Motorcycle Responds
If you’re a younger or less experienced rider, not understanding how your bike responds can increase your accident risks.
For one, a motorcycle is heavy and requires more time to speed up and slow down than a car. This factor increases when you have gear or a passenger on your bike.
Motorists cannot always judge the speed motorcycles are traveling, so keep your distance, use your turn signals and give yourself enough time to slow down when approaching traffic.