June 20th, 2014
As a motorcycle driver, nothing can torment you more than being stuck in traffic. You got a hog to explore the open road, not get caught behind a car going 10 miles per hour. As much as this predicament can result in a headache, don't let your impatience cause you to get in an accident. You may think that you can ride the shoulder or cruise in between cars, but these methods of avoiding traffic can be dangerous. You never know when a pedestrian will come out of nowhere or if a car will turn sharply. Patience is a key component when riding in traffic, but there are a few other safety tips you should try:
Proper attire and equipment check Motorcycle insurance can cover you financially if you get into an accident, but without wearing necessary clothing you could risk getting hurt. Make sure you have on a jacket, sunglasses, boots, gloves and a helmet.
Once you suit up, check out your bike before every ride, which can alert you to potential problems and possibly save your life. See that the brakes, engine and other systems are working properly. It may be beneficial to take it into a repair shop if you haven't gone on a ride in some time. You should also consider bringing along a tiny tool kit containing a screwdriver, wrenches and a hammer. This could help you out in a jam if you need to make a quick repair on the side of the road.
Check your mirrors Looking over your shoulder can give you a brief glimpse of oncoming cars, but mirrors can help you check if other motorists are looking to make a turn or merge into another lane. Always make sure they are clean and properly adjusted, as a dirty mirror can seriously impact your view.
Ride in the correct lanes Clumsy drivers who are not paying attention are a major reason for accidents on highways. You can protect yourself against careless motorists by staying out of the right lane unless you're approaching your exit. However, bear in mind that some laws require vehicles to remain in the right lane unless you're passing, so always obey the rules of the road.
Conserve bike power You never know how long you are going to be in a traffic jam, so conserve your bike's fuel so you're not stuck in the middle of the highway if it breaks down. Keep it in a lower gear while you are sitting in traffic and turn off your lights whenever you don't need them.
Be ready with the brakes Accidents can happen at a moment's notice, so make sure you can hit the brakes in a flash. Keep your fingers next to the brake levers and your foot by the brake pedal. This way, you can slow down if the car in front of you stops abruptly or if traffic is stop and go.