CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?
by Leslie Kay Drury
I see you? Can you see me? As riders of two wheeled machines we see many things. Especially visible are trucks and cars (cages) all seemingly aiming to take our lives or at the minimum ruin our carefully planned ride. Any trip we take has the possible misfortune of being interrupted by someone texting, Facebooking, applying mascara, or rubber necking at anything other than the road. Some mishaps are simply unpreventable accidents. Others may be prevented by taking some simple steps to stay visible.
Stay out of the No-Zone
The illustration below shows where a trucker will be unable to see you. These blind spots are dangerous and need to be respected. A tractor trailer takes
a lot longer to stop than a mini-van. Keep plenty of distance between you and them. All vehicles have blind spots. Even other Motorcyclists. If you are riding in a stagger with another biker be sure you can see their face in their mirror. If you can see them they can see you.
Wearing reflective gear and using reflective tape when and where possible makes you visible. If you are traveling or even just doing day to day riding you may and probably will at some point be on your motorcycle at night. Want to be seen? Having reflective material on the back of your gloves and using your hand signals in addition to the signals on your cycle may make all the difference. Is your motorcycle Basic Black? Reflective tape on the back of your jacket and or helmet will add visibility for the drivers around you.
Wear Bright Colors
Road workers wear fluorescent orange and yellow for a reason. It can be seen. High contrast clothing and clothing with reflective reports attracts the eye and can get you seen in time to prevent a collision. OSHA has square inch recommendations for how much high vis gear a road worker needs to wear based on the speed of the surrounding traffic. Guess what…the square inch requirement is highest for those nearest traffic.
Avoid putting yourself in a compromising situation
While we cannot avoid riding at night entirely we can limit it. The likelihood of a serious motorcycle accident significantly increases at night.
Common sense tells us that rush hour is not a place we want to be on purpose. Simple planning and time management can save your life.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has done the research and proven that conspicuous forward lighting assists in the prevention of motorcycle collisions. This includes daytime collisions as well as night time. Today’s available LED lights provide even greater visibility and therefore afford a higher degree of safety.
In the day to day hurry and hustle of our lives we never seem to slow down and just take our time. Many of us bought our motorcycle as part of our recreational time.
- refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like.
- a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.
Remember to Relax and enjoy your ride. Enjoy the pastime and the diversion of it. Good decision making and education should always part of the exercise of getting out on the roads. There will always be people texting, Facebooking, rubbernecking, or just plain ignoring the rules of the road. Take the steps to respect the “No Zone”, be visible, relax, and just ride.