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Biker in rear view mirrorYou’ve heard the complaints from motorcyclists that people driving cars and trucks just don’t seem to see them. You’ve also heard the complaints from those people driving the cars and trucks that motorcyclists drive erratically and don’t follow the rules of the road. So which is it? It’s probably a little of both. If you are a die-hard motorcyclist and ride on the highway is there a way to be seen easier and remain safe?

I was watching a video that showed a traffic jam on an interstate highway. The line of traffic seemed to go on for miles. What does it show next? A motorcyclist driving down the line between the lanes of stopped vehicles. This rider did this for the entire length of the traffic jam. Needless to say I’m sure a few of the other drivers were irritated. My first thought was the rider was lucky not to have someone open a car door and take him out. This area is a potential blind spot. This type of motorcycle operation is probably the number one complaint of other drivers. To be safe (and legal), don’t ride the lines: stay in a designated lane. You are more visible when in a travel lane.

Another tip for visibility is to keep your lights operational. The headlight should be on at all times.  Those turn signals should work. And don’t forget the brake light. Because motorcycles are so much smaller than a car, it does take a few more seconds for other drivers to see you coming. Properly maintaining your lights will give you those extra seconds and perhaps stop an accident from happening.  Most times when stopping, you can give the vehicle behind you a warning by tapping your brakes a few times before actually stopping. If your brake light is functioning properly, the driver behind you will get the message.

You can buy a brightly colored bike to be more visible or have gear with vivid colors. It would be hard to miss a neon green helmet coming your way. A motorcycle rider probably takes up as much space as the bike so why not use your clothes and gear to achieve more visibility. Two other great tips are to use reflective tape. You don’t have to be tacky about it. There are some reflective tapes that you can put around your tires for a custom look. And let’s not forget the horn. If you can’t be seen at least be heard!