Tips for Riders
General Guidelines For Riding A Motorcycle Safely
• Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time.
• Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.
• Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.
• Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks have.
• Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
• If a motorist doesn’t see you, don’t be afraid to use your horn.
Dress for safety:
• Wear a quality helmet and eye protection.
• Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet.
• Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing.
• Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
• Remember – the only thing between you and the road is your protective gear.
Apply effective mental strategies:
• Constantly search the road for changing conditions. Use MSF’s Search, Evaluate, Execute strategy (SEESM) to increase time and space safety margins.
• Give yourself space and time to respond to other motorists’ actions.
• Give other motorists time and space to respond to you.
• Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
• Watch for turning vehicles.
• Signal your next move in advance.
• Avoid weaving between lanes.
• Pretend you’re invisible, and ride extra defensively.
• Don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
• Know and follow the rules of the road, and stick to the speed limit.
Know your bike and how to use it:
• Get formal training and take refresher courses.
• Call 800-446-9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org to locate the Motorcycle Safety Foundation hands-on RiderCourseSM nearest you.
• Practice. Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic. Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.
Remember: Give yourself space. People driving cars often just don’t see motorcycles. Even when drivers do see you, chances are they’ve never been on a motorcycle and can’t properly judge your speed.
Courtesy Motorcycle Safety Foundation