The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reports that while motorcycle accident fatalities have declined overall nationwide in recent years, riders still have a disproportionate risk of serious accident injury and death. In addition, California has more registered motorcycles than any other state. Safety awareness measures and defensive driving strategies can help further reduce this risk.
Before taking your next motorcycle ride, familiarize yourself with these tips to avoid a catastrophic collision.
Pay attention to visibility
Many accidents happen when a motorcycle enters a driver’s blind spot. Keep your headlights illuminated and use your turn signal to maintain visibility, especially at intersections.
Maintain a safe following distance
While a following distance of at least 3 seconds is sufficient when driving a car, stay at least 6 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you when on a motorcycle. You will need the extra space to react if the driver swerves or brakes without warning.
Know the state laws
Motorcycles must abide by the same traffic laws that apply to other vehicles on California roads. However, you can travel between lanes on your bike. If you have a passenger, your bike must have a separate passenger seat and footrest. Your handlebars must raise your hands no more than 6 inches higher than your shoulders while operating the bike.
Whether you are new to motorcycling or not, education can help improve your safety record as a rider. Look for a defensive driving class with approval from the National Safety Council to brush up on your skills. You might also save money on your auto and motorcycle insurance premiums.