While some may tell you that riding a motorcycle is never as safe as driving a car, this doesn’t stop millions of people from opting for a two-wheel ride. However, speak to any experienced motorcyclists and they’ll quickly tell you that one of the fundamentals of road safety involves staying visible. Figuring how to do so can be hard for those who are new to motorbiking.
We’ve compiled a list of tips that novice bikers can follow to make sure they are increasingly visible to other motorists regardless of the lighting and weather conditions.
Wear Bright Colored Riding Gear
We all know that motorcyclists love black, but as cool as you may look in your leather, you won’t be all that visible. One of the easiest ways to ensure you are seen on the roads is to invest in brightly colored riding gear. When purchasing a helmet opt for a bright color. Neon colors are great when it comes to being seen from a distance or in the dark. The colors will help give other road users a clear indication of your presence. This should hopefully be enough to stop tailgating or being hit accidentally.
Try Reflective Tape
If you are not keen on investing in new gear, an alternative would be to use reflective tape. Adding reflective tape in bright colors such as white, neon green or orange to the motorcycle wheels or on the sides of the bike is a great option for increasing your visibility. These days, there is also a trend of using reflective tape on the rear of a helmet which is a great idea.
Use Auxiliary Lights
When it comes to ways to brighten up your motorcycle, one easy option involves installing auxiliary lights on your bike. Some would argue this is a bit of a controversial move, as it is easy to go overboard and install more lights than are necessary to be visible. The problem here is that lights serve to drain the batteries, which can be a safety issue in itself. It is important to be sensible when it comes to making upgrades to your bike’s lighting. You should be strategic about where you place your lights. For example, subtle lights on the number plate or long throw lights at the front of the bike should do the trick when it comes to visibility.
Make Use of Your High Beams
Whenever you are overtaking another vehicle on the road, motorcyclists should flash their high beam to indicate their intentions to the vehicle in front. This allows them the opportunity to give you the necessary space to make your intended move more easily. The high beam also comes in handy when you want to ask oncoming cars to lower the beam if it is affecting your vision. It’s important for cyclists to be mindful when using the high beam themselves, especially when riding in densely populated areas, as it can make it difficult for other motorists to see, which could inadvertently cause an accident.
Avoid Blind Spots
It is key for motorcyclists to acknowledge their vulnerability on the road and make a concerted effort in terms of keeping out of the blind spots of other vehicles. For those that aren’t aware, the bling spot is directly above the rear wheels of a vehicle and is where everything is invisible to the drive. Thankfully, more modern cars come with blind-spot monitoring, which plays a critical role in reducing road accidents. Regardless, it is always better to err on the side of caution, especially in dark or low visibility conditions when the vehicle in front can suddenly swerve or change lanes without warning.
Motorcyclists need to ride with caution, but this shouldn’t ever stop them from having fun. Simply following these simple steps to increase visibility should certainly make a difference in terms of improving safety, so happy riding and staying safe.