On the road motorcycles are nearly invisible to drivers. This inevitable psychological phenomenon baffles many who try to understand how a driver can look directly at a motorcycle, yet pull out in front of that motorcycle without even mentally registering their presence. On top of this, the technology of today amplifies the effect, leaving drivers with more distractions than ever before. It is paramount that a motorcyclist is able to draw attention to the cars around them. With this in mind, here are some things you can do to make yourself more visible so you can stay safe on the road.
Flashing your brakes
You can turn your brake light essentially into a giant signal by tapping your brakes. This lets the driver behind you know that you are coming to a stop. It also can make them pay more attention to you and less to their phone or radio.
High visibility gear
From day one drivers are taught to be cautious around hazard signs and construction workers. What do these signals warning drivers have in common? They are typically neon. The neon colors are associated with taking extra caution on the road. You can get this same psychological effect by wearing high viz gear. If neon isn’t your style, you can keep a high viz vest in your saddlebags to throw on at night or in heavy traffic.
Warn off dozy drivers at night by bouncing their headlights right back with reflective trim. Whether you’ve got it on your bike, gear or both reflective trim can help drivers see you from far away at night. If neon colors really aren’t your thing reflective trim is a great option for you. Reflective trim can be hidden discretely in the daylight on your jacket but light up at night warning drivers of your presence. Shinko even makes their 777 H.D. tires with reflective side walls now. Black reflective tape is another discrete option to help light up your ride, this guy even got pretty creative with his reflective tape!
Your lights play a significant role in visibility. LED headlights light up the road so you can see better and help others see you. It doesn’t just end at the headlight, you can also add LED turn signals, tail lights, and more for the best visibility.
For example, these bullet style LED turn signal inserts from Custom Dynamics provide excellent visibility, as shown above.
Staying out of blind spots
Blind spots aren’t always avoidable, but it’s wise to make an effort to stay visible to drivers. After all, they are called blind spots for a reason. Make passes quickly and stay in a lane position which keeps you visible to all drivers around you.
It can be dangerous out there, especially with drivers distracted by buzzing cell phones and enormous touchscreen displays. Always be on the defense and make yourself as visible as possible. Stay safe out on the road!