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How to safely drive a motorcycle in heavy traffic

As a motorcyclist, you know that traffic patterns can change without notice. One second you're moving along on the highway, but the next you're stuck in a traffic jam on a city street.

If you find yourself driving in heavy traffic, here are five safety tips to follow:

  • Use your mirrors: While you can't rely solely on your mirrors, they can help keep you aware of what's happening around you. If you're changing lanes, for example, use your mirrors along with a quick glance over your shoulder.
  • Make yourself visible: It's important that all drivers and pedestrians can see your vehicle, even at a distance. So, if you're riding in heavy traffic during the early morning hours, use your headlights. Just the same, don't ride in a vehicle's blind spot for an extended period of time.
  • Stay in your lane of travel: Many motorcyclists get into the habit of changing lanes in an attempt to make better time. This increases your risk of an accident, so stay where you are until you absolutely have to make a change.
  • Watch for left-turning vehicles: As you approach an intersection, a driver turning left may not take the time to see you. This can result in a head-on collision, thus causing serious injury or even death. Take extra caution as you approach intersections by paying close attention to vehicles traveling from the opposite direction.
  • Keep an eye on the driving surface: For example, if you see a shiny spot on the pavement, it could be a sign of fuel or oil, both of which are slippery. Also, if it's raining or has rained in the recent past, the roads may be slick. Slow down and do your best to avoid standing water.

Even if you follow these safety tips, you could still suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident.

If this happens, move as far away from traffic as possible and call 911 for help. It's important to receive treatment from paramedics and at a local hospital as soon as possible.

Once you're able to do so, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. This is also the perfect time to revisit the accident with an eye toward proving that the other driver was at fault. Doing this puts you in position to seek compensation from the negligent party.

Visit our website for additional information on the steps to take after any type of motor vehicle accident in California.

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