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Video:How to Stay Visible on a Motorcycle

with Basem Wasef

One of the greatest dangers of riding a motorcycle in traffic is not being seen by other drivers. But being aware and having the right gear and accessories for your bike can make all the difference for safe motorcycle visibility.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Stay Visible on a Motorcycle

When car hits a bike, the most common thing you hear from the driver was, "I just didn't see the motorcyclist." Hi - I'm Basef Wasef with About.com. We're here to talk about how to stay visible on a motorcycle. So here's a few ways to make sure you're seen when you're riding in traffic.

Leave Space When Driving the Motorcycle

The first thing you want to do to stay visible on a motorcycle is create a safety space around you, a little safety buffer, and stay out of the blind spots of drivers. A little bit extra cushion of space in traffic will enable you to have reaction time and maneuver your bike in case somebody makes unexpected lane changes.

Try Driving a Colorful Bike

If you can, avoiding black bikes and black gear will keep you visible in traffic. There's nothing like bright yellow, or white, or red, or anything but black to keep you seen by traffic and seen by drivers of cars in their peripheral vision.

Signal and Communicate on the Road

You also want to try using your hands when possible to signal to drivers when you're turning -- sometimes they don't notice turn signals and it's better to lift your arm up and do the traditional hand signal for turning. You can lift your left arm up for a right turn or straight out for a left turn.

Sometimes if someone is following too closely to you, and you know they might not be able to stop in time, you might tap your brakes just to give them a little brake signal, to know that you're going to slow down or that you want a little more space.

Wear Reflective Motorcycle Gear

Another way to stay visible in traffic is to wear bright or reflective gear. So whether it's a white helmet like this, or a brightly colored jacket, that increases your odds of being seen by motorists.

Use Lights for Increased Visibility

Another way to stay visible is to use your high beam when it's safe. You don't want to aim your high beam into anybody's eyes, but if it can make the difference between being seen and being not seen, it can be used selectively to stay visible.

A lot of people install running lamps on their motorcycles to stay visible. The lamps that come on your motorcycle out of the box are not necessarily the brightest or the most comprehensive, so adding extra lights to your bike will make you more visible.

When all else fails sometimes you need to use your horn to be noticed. It might be a little bit disruptive, it can really help you in situations where cars don't see you.

So, while sometimes it's almost impossible to completely stand out in traffic, between creating a safety buffer and making yourself visible with hand signals, and lights and safety gear, you can do your best to avoid cars that might not see you in traffic.

Thanks for watching -- to learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com.
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