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Motorcycle Road Safety Tips

person riding motorcycle on curving road

Protect yourself under changing road conditions with these motorcycle road safety tips.

Other vehicles on the road

  • Make sure you can see others and they can see you. Most motorcycle accidents involve cars whose drivers said they couldn't see the motorcycle.
  • Have your headlamps on at all times, wear bright clothes and always signal your intentions.
  • Don't be shy about using your horn to make someone aware of your presence or to make them aware of what they are doing.
  • Position your bike where it can be seen. Don't put yourself behind a large truck or in a vehicle's blind spot.

Avoid potholes and cracks

  • A tire could pop if the wheel rim pinches against the jagged edge of a pothole.
  • Reduce your speed. Slower pothole hits generally result in less damage.
  • Brake lightly. Slamming on your brakes can cause greater tire damage and also compresses your motorcycle's front-end suspension system.
  • Don't swerve. You could hit the pothole on an odd angle, causing more damage to the tire and wheel rim. Even worse, it could throw you off the motorcycle, resulting in bodily injury or death.

Gravel

  • Gravel roads provide less traction. If you try a sudden steering or braking movement on gravel, you may lose control.
  • Sudden movements can lead to loss of control. Don't jerk the handlebars to make a sudden turn. Don't "panic jam" the brakes to slow down. Don't accelerate like you're blasting off the line.

Standing water

  • Standing water can cause your motorcycle to hydroplane, resulting in lost control.
  • Beware of puddles or standing water – they could be deep, sharp-edged potholes filled with water, or they could be concealing other debris.
  • Water will make a roadway slippery. Use extra caution.
  • Fresh rain can cause dirt and oil to rise to the surface. If riding in the rain, be extra cautions in the first minutes of a rain storm until oil and dirt are washed off the road.

Debris

  • Litter, debris, an animal or a piece of broken roadway can be annoying for a car or truck driver. For a motorcycle rider, any obstacle can spell disaster. Look further down the road to spot debris, and take action to avoid it.

Additional Motorcycle Safety Resources

These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards.

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