We've all seen the bumper stickers encouraging drivers to start seeing motorcyclists. You might even have heard the all-too-common excuse that a driver just didn't see the motorcycle they ended up hitting.
Although there is no good excuse for not seeing a motorcyclist who is following traffic laws, drivers continue to cite lack of visibility as a reason for causing a crash. Because of this, motorcyclists in the Sacramento area may want to take matters into their own hands.
If you ride a motorcycle in the Sacramento area, consider the following tips for making yourself visible to other motorists on the road:
- Turn your headlight on. If your headlight does not automatically turn on when you start your bike, turn it on every time you ride - even during the day. Having your headlight on adds another level of visibility for other motorists.
- Don't hide behind large vehicles. Be aware of where you are in relation to other vehicles. Riding behind a tractor-trailer or in a car's blind spot can make it more difficult for others to see you. Try to stay out in the open as much as possible.
- Keep your distance. While it is good practice for any driver, you can keep yourself safe by staying a few car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. Keeping a safe distance will give you time to react if something happens ahead of you.
- Use your horn. Don't be afraid to honk your horn if you are worried that another vehicle doesn't see you. A honk signals your presence to that driver and others.
- Signal every time. The easiest way to ensure that your intentions are known is to make them known. Use your blinker and a hand signal if you can each time you plan to turn or change lanes. Make sure to turn off your blinker once you complete your maneuver so no one is confused.
- Stay focused and alert. Of course, one of the most important ways to stay safe on the road is to stay alert. Keep your eyes on the road and be aware of your surroundings.
Unfortunately, even the most attentive motorcyclists can still be involved in a crash. While you can control your own behaviors, you cannot control those of other drivers.
If you are injured in an accident, it is important to know that you have rights. Depending on exactly what happened, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. A personal injury attorney can help you better understand your options.