ThrottleX Blog

Motorcycle Safety at the Intersection

The 80’s rock band Boston sang the song “Don’t Look Back”. Sorry Boston, but when I’m riding, I look back often, especially at an intersection.

Motorcycle safety at an intersection takes more than just a working brake light. To prevent being slammed into an intersection and getting wiped out by oncoming traffic, there’s a lot you can do. Here are some tips to stay safe when stopping at an intersection.

1. Check your mirrors. As you are slowing down to an intersection, check your mirrors to see if the traffic behind you is slowing down also.

2. Tap. Touch your brakes several times to flash your brake lights.

3. Be extra careful if you decide to stop for a yellow light. If the driver behind you is on your tail, he’s probably in a hurry and is expecting you to run the light. Don’t switch lanes, because the guy behind you is likely to switch.

4. When hitting the brakes, watch out of grease slicks, manhole covers, and paint, particularly during wet conditions. If you feel your rear tire skidding, ease it off, but keep pressure on your front brake.

5. Watch out for holes and bumps in the road while hitting the brakes. A slight elevation of your tires can cause them to lock up when the brakes are applied, and put you into a skid. If you’re going to hit a hole or bump, ease up on both brakes, but not all the way, and increase pressure once you’re clear.

6. Look out for lane changers. These are cars ahead of you, or by your side, jockeying for the shortest line at the intersection. They’ll rapidly switch lanes if they see an empty lane.

7. Once you’re stopped, leave your transmission in gear and hold the clutch lever in so that you can make a quick get away. If that is not practical, put your right foot down, leaving your left foot on the peg ready to engage first gear and cover the clutch lever.

8. Make note of your best escape route. Should a car behind you come in too fast, and you feel certain it’s going to rear end you, you’ll need to get out of the there. Best advice is to keep your bike positioned near the center lane or the right shoulder, so that you can quickly get out the way.

9. When the light turns green, take a look at cross traffic and on-coming traffic, to make sure no one’s going to t-bone you. There’s always someone trying to beat a yellow light.

10. Check your brake light and tail lights often. Just get yourself into the habit of checking them before you ride. We often assume they’re working, but light bulbs burn out, and even brake light switches can short out.

Posted by admin at 8:19 pm

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