Tips for Street Survival

Submitted by Jeff Dean     

1. Give your motorcycle a quick visual inspection before your ride.

2. Clear your mind before you start your bike; focus on riding.

3. Train yourself to scan all around you, evaluate hazards, and execute a plan.

4. Look where you want to go; don’t fixate on hazards - see the clear path.

5. Never ride after drinking any alcohol.

6. Take extra care on an unfamiliar bike or in unfamiliar surroundings.

7. Tune up your skills after a long layoff, as after winter.

8. Sometimes swerving or speeding up can get out out of trouble.

9. Assume drivers don’t see you and will violate your right-of-way.

10. What “what if” games as you ride - can you avoid hazards?

11. Keep as far away from other vehicles as you can - all the time.

12. On crowded freeways, the right lane is often the most dangerous.

13. Avoid riding in clumps of traffic; seek out open spaces between them.

14. Position yourself to see around vehicles in front of you.

15. Always swivel your head to check blind sports before changing lanes.

16. It’s easier to change lanes into a spot ahead of you than behind you.

17. Avoid other vehicles’ blind spots―especially those of large trucks.

18. Wear bright colored, reflective riding clothes and helmets - do not wear black.

19. Beware of seasonal hazards: snow, salt, potholes, hot crack sealers, wet leaves.

20. Beware of construction zones, especially different pavement levels.

21. Beware of hazards at different times of day: glare, drunk drivers, heavy traffic.

22. Sunset and sunrise create severe visibility problems for you and others.

23. Roads are slick when rain just starts, especially lane markers and painted lines.

24. Ride your own ride when riding with a group.

25. Back off if you feel like you are doing something over your head.

26. More people are killed in collisions with deer than by attacks by wild animals.

27. Beware of intersections, which are the most dangerous places for riders.

28. Be careful when coming up to a car turning left; you are invisible.

29. When stopping behind cars, keep enough room so you can pull forward left or right in an emergency; and don’t forget your rear-view mirror.

30. Beware of automatic traffic control arms at parking garages and toll booths.

31. Get additional training in formal rider-education programs.

32. Feeling tired when riding? Take a break right away! 

* Abstracted from “Tips for Street Survival,” by the staff of the American Motorcyclist Association, in “Ride Guide to America,” Whitehorse Press, Center Conway, NH © 2005


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