Motorcycling may be an exhilarating and fuel-efficient pastime for riders, but there’s no denying that riding a bike is far more dangerous than driving a car. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash.
Getting stuck in traffic on your bike can be particularly stressful, especially if you are new to riding. If you’ll be riding your motorcycle down busy Connecticut streets this summer, here are five strategies for driving in traffic:
1. Practice scanning
When on your bike, try to make a habit of regularly scanning your environment to stay mindful of your situation and be better able to react. Don’t dwell on one area too long and use your mirrors and view of the road ahead to stay vigilant in traffic.
2. Stay to one side in slowing traffic
If you notice traffic slowing suddenly, be sure to stay either to the left or right of the car ahead of you. By sticking to one side, you can ensure you have an escape route if you need it and avoid getting rear-ended if the driver behind you fails to stop in time.
3. Watch drivers’ heads and mirrors
If you want to anticipate the sudden moves of other vehicles on the road better, watch the head movements of drivers in their mirrors and windows. If drivers forget to use their signal and suddenly merge, they will usually first move their heads in the direction they intend to go.
4. Stay visible at all times
It’s not uncommon to see bikers dressed head to toe in black leather, but you should consider opting for brightly colored gear to remain seen on the road. You can find high visibility riding suits and jackets at most gear shops. At the very least, a brightly colored helmet can ensure you are more visible to other drivers.
5. Cover your breaks
You often need to respond quickly in traffic, so it’s essential to have easy access to your brake lever or pedal. By always keeping a few fingers on your brake lever and your right toe close to the brake pedal, you can minimize the time it takes you to slow down and stay ready for sudden stops.
Motorcycling can be a dangerous hobby. By applying these strategies on the road, you can ensure you avoid potentially serious accidents in traffic.