With the beautiful and warm weather of spring and summer, we typically see an increase of daily motorcycle commuters during riding season. City motorcycle riding can be extremely challenging, especially for novice motorcyclists. Safely navigating through the busy streets of downtown Seattle or Tacoma requires unique skills and safety precautions.
As always, we’re here to spread the message of motorcycle safety to the South Sound and beyond. Our team at Evergreen Motorcycle Attorneys want to share our top five tips on riding your motorcycle in the city. Whether you’re a new to motorcycles or you’ve been around the block, we want to help ensure that drivers and motorists alike stay safe out of the road.
Always Be On Alert
According to Target Zero, 17 percent of fatal crashes involve a motorcyclist. When you hit the road, ride fully expecting the other drivers to not see you. By positioning yourself to be more visible to drivers, you will lower the chances of being involved in an accident. You should always ride in the front line of vision of the driver behind you, and not in their peripheral vision. People often fail to use their turn signals or check their blind spots, so keep alert and out of the blind spots of other vehicles.
Riding in traffic or on busy streets is not the time to be gazing at scenery. If there is an accident or an event, you want to have enough time to react.
Scan the Area & Your Surroundings
Get out of the habit of just looking straight ahead. Just like if you were driving a car, safely scan your environment—your mirrors, behind you, your blind spots, etc. In busy cities, such as downtown Seattle, the streets can often be filled with traffic, pedestrians and bikers—all constantly changing direction. This is why it is absolutely critical to maintain total awareness on your ride.
Watch the Surface Conditions
The weather is not always predictable in the Pacific Northwest. It can be sunny one minute and then pouring the next. It’s important to be prepared for any weather pattern changes that could occur during your ride. Check the weather before heading out the door, especially on a long ride. Be sure to also keep a eye for any potholes, or loose gravel that can send you off your bike. If you come upon a dire situation, give yourself plenty of space and slow down if needed. If you know of a bad area, it’s sometimes better to avoid by going a different route.
Choose Your Lane Wisely
When you are driving on busy highways and freeways, make sure to stay to your left. If you’re in the far left lane, you’ll only have the lane to your right to content with rather than getting sandwiched between two lanes. Other drivers may bob and weave to make their exit, so it’s best to stay safe and get over only if you need to.
Your Washington Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Riding a motorcycle in heavy traffic and congestion is no easy feat. While you may be a safe rider, other motorists and pedestrians often play a role in accidents and injuries. This is why it’s important to build safe and defensive riding habits, whether you’re commuting or a leisure cruise.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, give Evergreen Motorcycle Attorneys a call today at 253-472-6000. We’ve helped countless people seek restitution from injuries on the road. Schedule a free appointment to talk with one of our trusted Tacoma motorcycle attorneys and seek the justice that you deserve.