California motorcyclists have some of the most scenic highways in the world to ride their two-wheelers, but it can be a dangerous pastime.
It's up to the motorcycle enthusiasts to remain as visible as possible to motorists. That includes wearing reflective clothing, or putting reflective patches and stripes on outerwear, as well as the bike itself. It's also imperative that headlights and tail lights are in working order.
Many drivers remain oblivious to motorcyclists who share the road with them. Riders who wind up in the blind spots of these drivers can meet a quick and tragic end. When passing, get in and get out of these no-go zones quickly to minimize your risk.
If you see a vehicle behind you bearing down on you fast, take evasive moves to avoid getting mowed down. The safest riders are always scanning the highways, looking for escape routes and noting potential dangers.
Many bikers prefer wearing black leather jackets, pants or chaps to protect them in the event they tumble off of their cycles. This is a good idea, but black is not a highly visible color, especially if it is hazy, misty or smoggy. Consider making a fashion statement with fluorescent colors that will alert drivers to your presence.
Motorcyclists should never get on a bike when they are tired, ill or impaired. Their full attention is required for the task at hand. Using the strategy Search-Evaluate-Execute allows them to assess hazards and be ready to respond appropriately without panicking.
Practice riding your motorcycle in different weather and road conditions and allow extra time in inclement weather so you don't have to speed.
If you find yourself a victim of a collision with a motorist, your injuries are likely to be extensive and your treatment bills will likely be astronomical. Usually the only way to get compensation from the at-fault driver is by filing a claim for damages.
Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation, "General Guidelines For Riding A Motorcycle Safely," accessed March 18, 201