Get noticed, Stay Safe
The biggest threat to any motorcycle rider no doubt is the other maniacs that we have to share the road with. Each of us when we ride has to remain hyper-vigilant for the slightest movement out of place around us. Unfortunately, the auto drivers around us do not share our fear and so they drive around oblivious at times to the potential dangers around them (like us).
So, if you haven’t already checked out the blog post on behaviors that you should be adopting to stay safe, I highly recommend heading over to http://www.permit.bike/the-top-five-motorcycle-safety-tips-to-remember-this-summer/ for some basic ideas about safety while you are riding.
Now, outside of staying out of blind spots and remaining aware of the drivers around you, there are a number of things that you can do that can increase the chances of a driver seeing you and perceiving you. Yes, there is a difference.
Seeing you– The driver goes through the physical motion of having their eyes pass over you. This alone is no guarantee that the driver will know that you are there and avoid crossing into your lane because they are trying to re-tweet a cute kitten.
We all know a time where we have been driving and we could have sworn that we checked our rearview mirror before we started to merge, only to be met with a honk from the person beside you. You may very well have looked, but you did not register the car there.
Perceiving you– The driver not only physically passes over you with their eyes, but also takes note that you are there. This is what you want. Not only to be in a position to be seen, but have the most factors going in your favor to have other drivers perceive you.
This is the obvious one. If you have gone through your motorcycle safety class, they have given you the rundown on the proper riding position, avoiding car blind spots, and giving a proper cushion to other drivers.
All of us have had our moments where we want to stretch our bike’s legs but one thing this does is increase the probability that other drivers will not have the opportunity to see and perceive you. If you are out of sight when the driver checks his mirrors first and have shot into his blind spot by the second time he checks and changes lanes, then you may find yourself off the road.
Illumination catches eyes.
The lighter your bike produces the more likely the headlights will catch attention. I have seen a number of bikes that have just blended into a group of headlights at night.
There are plenty of companies that sell after-market lighting kits that not only increase the light you produce but also make your turn signals more dynamic.
This is the one that not a lot of people think about but is extremely important and might make the difference between seeing and perceiving.
You might be scratching your head for this one but what I am talking about is the overall look of you and your bike. If you ride a black bike with a grey riding jacket and black or grey helmet then the person driving next to you might not even give you a second look…and we need them to give you a second look.
Check out the YouTube video of the Predator bike in which the rider is dressed exactly as the character Predator and he is riding a pretty evil-looking bike.
Now, how likely is that rider to actually go unnoticed on the expressway? The answer is he is most likely stared at constantly which also means that he is highly perceived.
Using your own personal style can also help you get perceived. Try looking through custom looks for your helmet. Add reflective strips to your current ridding jacket, or find something that matches your personality and stands way out.
Finally, if you are so inclined you can add chrome, custom paint, louder pipes (hear you coming), or other unique characteristics to your bike to help grab other people’s attention. The more attention you can grab, the more likely you are to avoid being on the wrong end of that tweeting driver.
PERCEIVE you and see you on the road
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