Safety Tips For Your Urban Commute

Tip #101 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

urban commuting, safety tips

CHOOSE YOUR ROUTE Look for a route that moves well and gives you room to maneuver.

MIND THE GUNK The crud on city streets can compromise your traction and ability to corner and stop. It's worst in the center of a lane, just before intersections, or if it hasn't rained recently.

LOOK AROUND Don't just gaze in front of you; look ahead and around. Use your mirrors, but don't trust them alone.

PLAN YOUR ESCAPE What if that car comes into your lane, or something falls off that truck ahead of you? Where are you going to go? Always look for a way out.

KEEP MOVING Don't pull up so close to a car that you can't maneuver; if you're sitting still, you're a sitting duck.

STAND OUT Wear bright, reflective colors, use a headlight modulator (if legal in your area), and use your horn if you have to.

AVOID BLIND SPOTS If you can't see the driver's face in his mirrors, he can't see you, and that puts you in danger. Leave that blind spot ASAP.

KEEP CONTROL Keep your fingers on the front brake and clutch levers (and the horn button), and your foot over the rear brake.

BEWARE OF INTERSECTIONS Most motorcycle accidents involve a car violating the rider's right of way, especially turning left in front of him. And intersections are where people turn.

DON'T BLOCK EXITS Riding between a car and a freeway exit is asking for trouble.