How to Handle Your Motorcycle in Heavy Traffic

Motorcycle riding through heavy traffic on freewayMotorcycle accident attorneys are some of the most sought after personal injury attorneys for the simple fact that when a motorcycle is in an accident there are almost always severe injuries or death associated with it.

The statistics on motorcycle accidents are surprising to the majority of drivers.  Most motorcycle operators are very careful when driving because they are fully aware of the risks involved.

When accidents happen it is usually the fault of the vehicle operator and not the motorcyclist.  This article is more of a reminder, more than anything else, that a motorcycle operator must be better than his counterparts in vehicles.

Before You Get on the Road

Check your bike over thoroughly.  Check the tires for proper inflation, oil and fluid levels, and that the brakes are working.  Also, don’t forget to check your gas levels.  You want to ensure you have more than enough gas to get where you’re going.  You don’t want to switch to reserve in the middle of traffic.

Check yourself over thoroughly.  The only thing between you and the road is your helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves. You want to make sure that your body has ample protection not just from an accident, but ordinary scrapes that might not topple you but can still do damage.

Once You’re in Traffic

The chances are if you’re in an accident it won’t be your fault.  The motorcycle safety courses required by the DMV are pretty well executed.  Situational awareness is part of a motorcycle operator’s instinctive survival mechanisms.

However, even if you are doing everything right there are still the usual bad drivers all around you who don’t look before changing lanes or aren’t thorough about checking their blind spots.  So the goal is to make yourself seen by the other drivers, that means getting as big a bike as you can handle, always keeping on your lights, and using that horn aggressively if someone begins to shift near you.

You will also want to be a defensive driver, especially in traffic.  Traffic is not the place to speed (if you’re that type).  As you probably know, cars will merge right more than left as they pass.  This is why the far left lane is the safest choice for motorcycles.

Lastly, when coming to an intersection, try to use another car as a shield as you go through it.  If someone has to get hit, the vehicle driver has a better chance of walking away than you do.

Motorcycle riding is one of the greatest pleasures in life and we want you to be safe while you’re doing it.  Stay safe and have fun!

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