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Motorcycle Riding in Traffic: Strategies for Staying Safe

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Novice riders are often terrified of getting in traffic and we don’t blame them. Congested traffic is a nightmare for anyone. The reality of being on a bike is that you will absolutely bear the brunt of any collision, but few motorists are really watching for you. What can you do?

Defensive riding is a must. Below, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer provides some tips for how to stay safe in traffic. Implement as many as you can and be sure to call our motorcycle accident attorneys in Georgia if you are involved in a crash. A Georgia motorcycle accident attorney will discuss possible financial compensation.

Pay Attention to the Weather

The weather has a big impact on how you should ride. If it’s raining or foggy, you’ll want to reduce your speed so you reduce the risk of an accident. Should there be snow or ice on the ground, then you might even want to stay home for the day. At a minimum, you need to reduce speed in inclement weather.

Be Visible

This is an easy one. You want other motorists to see you so they can avoid crashing into you. That means:

  • Making your bike visible
  • Wearing brightly colored clothing or a helmet
  • Riding in such a way that you are visible (i.e., don’t tailgate)

Being visible doesn’t guarantee that you will avoid an accident. But riders who are hard to see certainly get into more than their fair share of wrecks.

Use Your Turn Signals

It’s so easy to forget to use your signals, but they provide helpful information to other motorists on the road. For example, a car coming from behind can’t really judge your speed, so they don’t know if you are slowing down to make a left-hand turn. The blinker tells them that.

Put on a turn signal early. Don’t throw on the signal as you are making the turn because that doesn’t provide enough time for a motorist to take defensive action.

Eliminate Distractions

Bikers can get distracted like any other motorist by:

  • Music
  • Phones
  • Uncomfortable clothing

There’s also a risk of losing focus when you are riding on a long stretch of highway, especially at night. You might “zone out,” which is just as bad as being distracted.

Give Large Trucks Space

If you’re on the highway, you’ll come around big rigs often. Give them a wide berth. These trucks have gigantic blind spots, and they also create windy conditions. You don’t want to linger around one of them.

Of course, if you need to pass (and you sometimes do), then be sure to pass quickly. A truck could change lanes on a multi-lane highway at any moment. And if you are in the blind spot, you could get run over. Don’t linger in the spot, and be prepared to take defensive action.

Ride Near the Center Line

You could ride in the middle of the lane, which might feel more natural. However, your bike is more likely to hit potholes or skid on fluids emitted by cars. You increase the odds of losing control of your bike.

By riding near the center line, you improve your visibility. You can see further down the road. Also, you are more visible to other motorists around you.

Avoid Lane Splitting

Lane splitting does provide protection, especially in heavy traffic. Unfortunately, it is not legal in Georgia as of 2024. You don’t want to get a ticket. Furthermore, other drivers are not expecting you to lane split.

Do Not Get Between a Car and an Off Ramp

Many drivers make a last-second decision to pull off the highway, and you could be killed if you are in the way. Of course, you aren’t supposed to pass on the right to begin with. You should do everything possible to avoid getting in the way of a car and the off-ramp.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Motorcyclists have a duty to follow all traffic safety laws, including speed limits. You improve the chances of avoiding an accident by carefully following all the rules.

Be Prepared to Brake Suddenly

You should have your fingers near the brake lever and your toes near the brake pedal. You might need to stop in an instant and you don’t want to be reaching a long distance. Every split-second counts in heavy traffic.

Injured in a Crash? Call Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Georgia

Georgia motorcyclists can seek financial compensation whenever another motorist injures them in a wreck. Call Lawbike Motorcycle Injury Lawyers today to go over your legal rights in a consultation.

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