From material supplied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
RIDING TO BE SEEN
Riding to be seen is essential to safe motorcycle riding. More than half of all motorcycle accidents occur because the motorist simply “did not see the motorcyclist coming.”
Motorists tend to look for other cars, not for motorcycles. In addition, motorcyclists are hard to see because of their small profile. Finally, because motorcycles accelerate quickly and motorcyclists often change lanes to adjust to road conditions, drivers often misjudge motorcyclists and fail to predict their patterns.
Therefore, when you are riding a motorcycle:
Never assume that you are visible to a driver;
Ride where you can be seen; and
Increase your visibility so others will notice you.
A smart rider should “Stand Out”.
Ride Bright and Be Seen.
As a rider, you are more likely to Stand Out if you if you keep these suggestions in mind:
Select (and wear) a brightly colored helmet. Wear bright, contrasting clothing, particularly on the upper part of your body. If you prefer darker colors, brighten them with fluorescent vests or straps.
Apply reflective materials to your helmet and the motorcycle itself. Adding reflectors is an effective and inexpensive way to stand out and increase your visibility.
Keep your headlights on at all times to help ensure that you are noticed day and night. For maximum effectiveness, keep your headlights in optimal working condition. Use high beams rather than low beams during the day, and consider the use of modulating headlights.
Use Running Lights
Running lights, whether used on the front, back, or side improve visibility. Install running lights if you don’t have them, and keep them in good operating condition.
REMEMBER: The front and sides of a motorcycle are much more important to your visibility than the rear of the cycle. To Stand Out, brighten those areas first.
The most common accident between drivers and motorcyclists occurs at an intersection when a driver is making a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. A typical response from the driver after the accident is, “I never saw him!”
In addition, accidents where the motorcycle is the only vehicle involved often result when drivers pull out in front of motorcyclists, causing them to overbrake, slide, and fall.
As a motorcyclist, you are more likely to Be Seen in these and other high-risk situations if you keep these tips in mind.
Proceed Cautiously at Intersections
Make sure that drivers in front of you and facing you know that you are approaching. Be particularly careful when a driver is about to make a left turn in front of you, even if you think that the driver has seen you.
Ride Where You Can Be Seen
Remember that there is no ONE safe place to ride. You must ride where you can Be Seen. Avoid the driver’s blind spots. Give yourself room, and be prepared for emergency braking situations or avoidance maneuvers. Make your lane moves gradually, and always use appropriate signaling.
Never Share a Lane with a Car
Although they may seem to save time or avoid traffic snarls, sharing a lane or riding between cars is dangerous. A driver simply does not expect you there and may proceed accordingly.
Signal the Driver
Clearly signal your intentions. Use your horn to alert drivers that seem unaware. Flashing your headlights from high to low beam also alerts a driver that you are approaching. Let drivers know where you are and how you plan to proceed.
Never Assume the Right of Way is Given to You
Proceed only when you are sure that it is safe to do so.
TO STAND OUT
Use bright colors, reflective materials, and lights so that others can see you.
Ride To Be Seen
Position yourself where your presence is evident, and be especially careful when motorists make left turns. Make moves gradually, with appropriate signaling. Never assume the right of way.
You can help motorists to see you if you
Ride to be seen.
Email: Motorcycle Safety Unit
You can contact the Motorcycle Safety Unit at:
Motorcycle Safety Unit
Texas Department of Public Safety
P O Box 4087
Austin, Texas 78773-0001
Phone: (512) 424-2021