Motorcyclists in Maryland are at a higher risk of getting severe injuries on the road. This is because, unlike cars, motorcycles don’t have reinforced steel surrounding the rider or seat belts to protect them during a collision. All you have is minimal protective gear, so it’s important to improve your riding skills. Here is how you can improve your safety on the road through visibility.
Know the basics
To legally drive a motorcycle in Maryland, you must obtain a motorcycle license separate from a standard driver’s license. Completing the Maryland Basic Rider Course, or BRC will help you not only achieve this goal, but provide you with motorcycle basic safety how-to’s.
Alcohol is a contributing factor in 40% of fatal motorcycle accidents. A .08 blood alcohol level is the “legal limit” for driving while impaired, even the smallest amount of alcohol can impair your ability to drive, slowing reaction times and impairing judgment. Making the choice to drive sober is not only the safe choice, it is the law.
Wear appropriate and brightly colored gear
Wearing both a helmet and protective eye gear is required to legally drive a motorcycle in Maryland, both improving your chances of walking away from an accident. The color of the clothing and gear you wear on a motorcycle can also directly impact your safety. To avoid personal injury, it is best to wear lighter colors like white, beige, yellow, etc. The reason is that lighter colors offer greater contrast and stand out on the road even in low light conditions.
Don’t wear colors like green, blue, silver, grey or black because they can easily blend with the environment, which can make other road users fail to see you, especially when there is low light. Most riders love black, but research has shown that black gear-wearing riders have a 47% crash risk at dusk and dawn.
Paint your motorcycle to be brightly colored
Darkly colored motorcycles are harder to see at night, and it is even more difficult to gauge the distance at which they are driving. Contrarily, brightly colored motorcycles are easier to notice even if you are coming from afar.
Always stay away from blind spots
Motorcycles are small but powerful road engines. You can maneuver through the tightest spots without a problem or even stay behind bigger vehicles as you follow them down the road. As much as this can seem like an advantage, always strive to get into a visible position on the road. Never assume that all motorists on the road are vigilant. Some drivers switch lanes without looking at their blind spots in the rear-view mirror.
If you get into a crash because of other motorist negligence, you can fight for your insurance rights and compensation from the other party. Maryland is a “fault” state, meaning the liable driver is held accountable for their actions when a crash occurs.