Knowing how to stay safe on your motorcycle is a vital skill for any biker. A key part of this is ensuring you are visible to other road users. Bikesure, the specialist motorcycle insurance provider, has created this guide explaining some of the best ways to be seen and stay safe.
Government statistics show a steady decline in the number of accidents involving motorcycles, but it remains a risky method of transport.
Car drivers get to sit inside a metal box with a bright light on each corner. Bikers present a far smaller profile, and it can be difficult to see bikes from inside those metal boxes.
While you can’t control the perception of other road users, you can give yourself the best possible chance by making yourself as visible as possible with the right gear and the right riding habits.
Consider what you wear while you ride
The first thing to consider is what you are wearing and whether it helps you stand out on the road. Traditional biker safety gear tends towards the darker colours, which look cool but they don’t help you stand out at night.
Hi-vis jackets have traditionally tended towards dayglo colours as they easily catch the attention. As avoiding accidents often requires split second judgements, anything that helps to make other drivers aware of you helps.
Luckily there’s a good number of jackets that use reflective materials that are a bit easier on the eyes during daytime while still helping to make you stand out to other road users at night. Hi-vis belts and vests are a simpler way of improving your visibility without having to fully replace your current wardrobe.
You can also get retro reflective tape or stickers which can be stuck onto your helmet. These are available in a range of colours including one which appears black unless it is directly illuminated, perfect if keeping that dark look is important to you.
Add reflective accessories to your bike
Reflective materials can also be attached to your bike. For example, if you have panniers, reflective materials will help to give other road users a better idea of your true width.
However, for the most part, the front and rear of your motorcycle will already be made visible by the lights. The best places to add reflective materials are the sides of your bike.
For example, adding reflective tape to the wheel rims or the sides of the fuel tank will help you stand out from other traffic as you cross road junctions – and it’ll also look pretty cool!
Obviously you should keep the stickers the same colour as the lights, so red stickers on the rear and white at the front. With side mounted stickers you can mix things up a little with other colours, but yellow is by far the most visible.
Making sure your headlights and indicators are nice and clean will also help maximise your visibility.
Avoid blind spots
Your position on the road is a vital piece of the puzzle. You should aim to keep enough space between you and cars in front of you so they don’t block you from traffic in the other lane.
You should also be driving within the mid/centre of your lane, further increasing your visibility (while obviously adjusting to avoid any overtaking traffic).
The main blind spots for cars, vans and trucks are to the rear and the sides – bear in mind if you’re overtaking or being overtaken, you are less visible as you pass each other.
Picture: Nimish Sawant https://nimsaw.com/tag/mumbai-nights/.
A swift and hassle free motorcycle insurance quote
Whatever machine you ride and whichever safety gear you wear, call Bikesure on 0333 271 1780 for a swift, hassle free, no obligation motorcycle insurance quote.