With spring now upon us, many Bay Area motorcyclists will be dusting off their bikes and heading out on the open highway. However, after a winter away from the road, San Francisco motorcycle accidents are a real concern.
Both riders and drivers could benefit from reviewing some helpful safety tips as the motorcycle season starts up again.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends that riders keep the following safety concerns in mind:
- Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet and protective clothing
- Make an effort to be visible by using your headlights, wearing reflective clothing and choosing safe lane positions
- Let cars know what you are doing – always signal your turns and flash your break light when slowing down or stopping
- Avoid weaving between lanes, especially in heavy traffic
- Always be on the lookout for hazards and changing road conditions
- Know your limitations – don’t ride in heavy traffic or in inclement weather until you are sure you can handle it
Of course, motorcycle riders only have half the responsibility. Drivers also have a duty to be on the lookout for motorcyclists and to take steps to prevent accidents. Often, the most serious injuries occur when drivers strike a motorcyclist with their car.
Bay Area drivers can help reduce motorcycle accident rates by following these safety strategies:
- Make a point to look for motorcycles, especially at intersections or when changing lanes
- Remember that motorcycles can’t always stop as quickly as cars, and allow extra distance if you are driving behind a motorcycle rider
- Don’t expect that a motorcycle will be able to quickly maneuver out of a dangerous situation
- Always assume a motorcycle is closer than you think it is – motorcycles’ small stature can create a visual illusion that makes them seem farther away than they actually are
By keeping these tips in mind, both riders and drivers can help ensure that California’s roads are safe for everyone.
Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation, “Quick Tips: General Guidelines for Riding a Motorcycle Safely.”