How to Make Yourself More Visible to Cars When on a Motorcycle
Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama
This content has been reviewed by Gary O. Bruce
As a motorcyclist, your risk of being seriously injured in a crash is high. And even though most people, including insurance adjusters, like to blame motorcyclists for their own accidents, you’re most likely to crash because a driver of a car, truck, or SUV wasn’t paying attention to their surroundings.
Whether it’s because drivers are distracted and not looking at the road, they misjudge how far away a motorcycle is or its speed, or they simply aren’t looking out for riders, when passenger vehicles are involved in crashes with motorcycles, it’s far more likely to be the fault of the driver than the rider.
However, knowing you’re not at fault is little consolation if you’ve suffered serious injuries, or even lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash. That’s why we advocate these tips to make yourself more visible to drivers and hopefully avoid becoming another victim.
7 Ways to Prevent Drivers from Saying They “Didn’t See You”
Drivers don’t set out to hit motorcyclists when they get on the road, but it keeps happening. To protect you from drivers who argue “I didn’t see them” or “they came out of nowhere,” you can follow these tips to make yourself more visible to drivers. And if you still end up the victim of a crash, having done the following can help make it clear to a judge or jury that the fault doesn’t lie on you.
Ride a brightly-colored bike—If you are looking to buy a motorcycle, consider one in a vibrant color that draws attention. Yellows, greens, and oranges work best, but if you dislike bright colors, white is also a solid choice.
If you already own a motorcycle in a dark or neutral color, consider adding colorful decals or reflective tape.
Wear brightly-colored motorcycle gear—The all-black jacket and helmet may look cool in the movies, but out in the real world, it just serves to make you blend in with the road and makes you harder to spot when you should be doing everything you can to be as visible as possible.
Use your lights, even during the daytime—Lights will be your best friend as a motorcycle rider.
Ride with your high-beams on in daytime to draw drivers’ attention to where you are (although this may annoy some drivers, it’s worth it to ensure your safety, and isn’t dangerously distracting since the contrast isn’t as great in daytime), tap your brakes when slowing down so the flashing brake light can catch drivers’ attention, and install auxiliary lights for even more visibility.
Use your horn when drivers aren’t aware of your presence–It’s a surefire way to get someone’s attention in a car, and even more so when you’re on a motorcycle, which is what you want.
Weave a little in your lane–You may think this would only add fuel to the fire that motorcyclists drive recklessly, but this can actually keep you safe without endangering anyone else.
Moving objects attract more attention than stationary objects, or objects that appear stationary, so drivers are more likely to notice a taillight or a headlight that is wavering or zig-zagging than one that stays dead center in the lane. Secondly, it’s your lane! You don’t have to share it with another vehicle, and you have more space to safely move within it than a larger vehicle does.
Avoid blind spots—All vehicles have blind spots, and typically, the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. Common blind spots on a car include just behind the driver’s side door, as well as a car’s length behind the passenger’s side door. On a semi-truck, blind spots include directly in front of the truck’s cab and directly behind the truck’s trailer for about 30 feet.
Pick safe times to ride—If you can help it, never ride during times of limited visibility, when you will be much harder for drivers to see. That means avoiding riding early in the morning, late in the evening, or at night, and also staying off your bike on days when it might be overcast, foggy, or rainy.
Even the Safest Motorcyclists Face Risks, But We’re Here to Help
Improving your visibility while riding can greatly reduce your chance of being injured in a collision with a distracted or inattentive driver, but there’s only so much you can do to protect yourself when others on the road aren’t showing the same concern. As a motorcyclist, you will probably be in at least one crash in your riding career. We hope it’s not a serious one, but if it is, you’ll need someone standing with you to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced Georgia and Alabama motorcycle crash attorneys today to learn how we hold negligent drivers responsible when they injure innocent motorcyclists.