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Why do motorcyclists need to drive defensively?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Motorcycle Accidents

In the world of motorcycling, the freedom of the open road is a thrilling experience. However, with great freedom comes great responsibility.

When you are on a motorcycle, you expose yourself to the elements in a way that car drivers do not. Defensive driving means being acutely aware of your surroundings. By staying alert, you give yourself important seconds to react in dangerous situations.

Shorter stopping distance than big vehicles

One key defensive driving principle is maintaining a safe following distance. Unlike cars, motorcycles have shorter stopping distances. This means cars and trucks could stop too slowly to avoid you and increase the risk of collisions, especially in emergency situations.

To ride defensively, keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. This includes at intersections since 35% of American motorcycle accidents resulting in death happened there. This space provides you with a buffer zone and enhances your ability to respond effectively to sudden stops or illegal maneuvers from other vehicles.

Less visibility

Being seen by other drivers is important for motorcycles in particular due to their size and shape. Use your headlights, wear reflective gear and choose brightly colored clothing. Making yourself obvious on the road significantly reduces the likelihood of other drivers failing to notice you.

Unexpected obstacles

Defensive motorcycling involves mastering the art of evasive maneuvers. Develop the skills to swerve, brake and adjust your speed when faced with potential threats that bigger vehicles cause. Practice emergency stops and quick turns in a controlled environment to enhance your ability to navigate unexpected situations.

In the world of motorcycling, adopting a defensive driving mindset is a skill. Every twist of the throttle requires you to have a commitment to safety since many cars and trucks could potentially cause a crash. You should navigate the open road with confidence and enjoy a better riding experience.