Ride Your Motorcycle Safely in Heavy Traffic

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: January 11, 2021

There are few joys greater than tearing up an open road on a powerful motorcycle. But to reach the empty roads that are most favored by motorcyclists, congested traffic often has to be dealt with. For that reason, it’s important that you learn how to navigate large clusters of traffic safely. Getting through a traffic jam, or rush hour becomes exceedingly dangerous for the guy on a motorcycle, so it’s vital that you take caution and approach every situation carefully to keep yourself safe out there.

Stay Ahead of the Other Vehicles

Drivers in SUVs, cars, and trucks aren’t on the lookout for motorcycles, and you can’t expect them to be. Instead, you have to remain aware of your surroundings at all times, and drive as if other people on the road can’t see you.

Stay focused at all times and give yourself space between all the other vehicles out on the road. Be prepared to react to poor driving conditions and always stay on top of what you are doing. As long as you remain focused and prepare for drivers to change lanes quickly and to drive poorly, by giving yourself enough space, you should be just fine.

Make Good Use of Your Lane

As a motorcyclist, each single lane is really a triple lane. You can be in the center, at the left or at the right of the lane. When riding in lanes between two motor vehicles, something you should avoid whenever possible, it makes sense to position yourself in the center of the lane, giving you space from either of the other drivers.

When positioned at either of the outside lanes, make sure that you pick the outside of the lane to stay in, to keep distance between you and other drivers, and to give you the option to get out of the road entirely and onto the shoulder if necessary.

Carefully Use Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is the act of traveling in between two motorists that are next to one another to get ahead of them. This is sure to annoy the cars or trucks you’re traveling between, but it can be a powerful defensive mechanism when used properly. When you have to create distance between you and another driver that isn’t driving safely, use lane splitting to get up ahead into a more clear situation.

It’s important to make sure that lane splitting is legal in your state before you try out this maneuver. There are some states where it’s against the law, so always double check this before you rely on the technique while out on the road.

Take a Safety Course

Whether you are new or experienced with riding a motorcycle, it’s important to make sure you know how to handle a motorcycle safely. One of the best ways to learn what you need to know is by taking a motorcycle safety course. Consider signing up for a local course to find out how to remain safer while out on the road.

Once you know how to navigate congested areas safely, you can work your way through them and get to those wide open roads that are so much fun to ride around on. Believe me, it’s worth the effort.