Are you new to riding motorcycles or are considering buying one?  If so, this article is for you. The bottom line is that motorcycles are not as safe to ride in as cars but if you exercise caution, you can avoid accidents. gives us this checklist that safe motorcyclists keep in mind every time they ride.

Oncoming traffic – Yes, oncoming vehicles are supposed to stay in their lane but drivers can get distracted.  It could be they because they are texting, eating or just daydreaming.  Whatever the reason, if an oncoming driver drifts in front of you, it’s not going to end well.  The solution is simple: always keep a sharp eye on that opposite lane of traffic and be able to react quickly.

Cars waiting to turn – Intersections are dangerous to motorcyclists and the majority of accidents have to do with drivers making careless left turns. Motorcyclists all have stories about narrowly avoiding a collision with a car pulling out in front of them, and sadly, far too many have stories about actually being hit by those cars. Keep your eyes open.

Panic stops  – It doesn’t happen often but there are times that you need to slam on the brakes. Problem is that it’s always more dangerous when you’re on a motorcycle. Since the front brake on any vehicle provides 70% of the stopping power, you have to use it, but on a motorcycle you run the risk of locking up the front wheel and skidding. The solution, keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Gravel on the road – The worst road obstacle is gravel. It causes your motorcycle to handle unpredictably, particularly when cornering under speed.  Many riders have been killed when they travel too fast around a corner and hit some gravel.

Opening car doors – When driving in urban areas, motorcycle riders have to always be on the lookout for people opening their car doors. Bicyclists have dealt with this problem for years, but it’s even more dangerous for motorcycle riders who often travel at faster speeds than bicycles.

Cars changing lanes – Motorcycles just aren’t that physically big and many drivers don’t see them in their mirrors.  The result is that car drivers often change lanes and pull right into motorcycles that they fail to see.  The solution for motorcyclists is simple – drive defensively and watch for trouble.

Car drivers behind you – When is being stopped a hazard?  When it’s in an intersection.  Drivers who aren’t paying attention have a habit of rear-ending other vehicles, and in the case of a motorcycle, it can be a disaster. Unfortunately there isn’t much a motorcyclist can do it they get rear-ended.  

Article Courtesy of: Palmer Dodge


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