Do a headline search sometime on the ‘ol computer for “Motorcyclist injured” or “Biker killed” and read some of the current articles around the country about motorcycle accidents. Now start putting the similarities together from the stories. Do you see how many news reports there are stating, “vehicle attempted to turn left at such and such intersection and did not see the approaching motorcycle, investigation pending”. This intersection stupidity by four wheelers is number one in putting a biker on a slab at the morgue.

Be mindful of this four wheeler weakness and be reactive. Cover that front and rear brake and slow down when you are approaching an intersection with oncoming traffic, this can save valuable reaction time and shorten your braking distance. Make sure everyone traveling through that intersection can see you. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Do not travel through an intersection to the right and rear of a four wheeler, left turning cars can’t see you until it’s too late. Adjust your speed accordingly to stay in clear view of everyone when you go through an intersection, and keep your head and eyes scanning just in case.

This may all seem a little too cautious for some, but make these mindful techniques part of your riding skills until they become habit. The safer you feel on the street the more you will enjoy the ride. 


Post 1, Omaha, Neb.

ALR Road Captain

Read more in Rider Safety Corner


  1. We do a pre-ride briefing to do several things. Checking signals, flashers and brake lights on every bike is a good practice. Securing all carry items before the ride instead of doing so while riding is also a good practice. I know it sounds silly but I have seen it on more than one occasion. Taking the time to discuss signals, spacing, rules of the road and ride conditions is also important. Discussing heavily traveled intersections is also very important. I have read the same articles where a bike was run over at a intersection and it needs to be a major focus. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes to have a quick briefing and it could make the difference between a great ride or a disaster. It is my hope to also get at least 2 people first aid trained on what to do in the first 3 minutes after an accident as well as carrying first aid supplies. Safety, safety, safety! I also would appreciate any input concerning safety.

    David Pilgrim

    Road Captain

    ALR Post 22, Franklin, TN.

  2. Hey Dave, Doing a pre-trip is required if you are a professional Truck Driver and it's always done before a wheel is turned in the yard. I would recommend that an inspection of ones scooter be done at home where you have tools for corrections, final checks by the Road Captain and assistants before the Riders meeting can be done casually by walking though the bikes and looking for obvious faults. Have the Tailgunner keep you informed of anything unsafe going on during the ride.

  3. Headlight Modulator.

    DOT approved safety device and thus legal everywhere in the United States. I have not experienced a left hook since I started using one, and will not own a bike without one. It makes a HUGE difference in your visibility and creates just enough confusion to make drivers think before they act, and that's the time you need.

  4. "OOPS" I didn't mean to blow the horn...
    It's happened to all of us, my wife calls it THE LOUD TURN SIGNAL.
    When I flew helicopters, we used to do "blind cockpit checks" to ensure that we knew 'what' switches were 'where' we thought they were.
    With the advent of M/C GPS units, I've noticed a few riders attention on the GPS screens instead of the ROAD. "How many miles to EMPTY?" ... "My MPH?" ... "is the blinker on or working?" or "Checking Traffic behind me?" Long searching looks at the bike take our eyes off the road. Would you close your eyes for 2 -3 seconds while riding?
    When you HAVE to (and I mean really HAVE to) look away from the road, know the location of the desired information and take a glance. Immediately return your eyes to the road. The glance should only take as long as a blink of your eye. If you didn't SEE all the info ..... another glance (blink) should do it. . . . . . . Don't make your riding brother have to KNOCK on your family's door..................

  5. I like to ride my bike as though I am invisible and nobody sees me. Half the time your right.
    A couple of things I always do:
    Check your bike and make sure you secure your gear(I had a friend bungie his jacket to his sissy bar and the sleeve came loose and went into his spokes it was a bad wreck) Anyhow,look way ahead on the road it gives you more time to react, Stay out of blind spots ride up beside the car for a second so they know your there, point the headlight of your bike at left turning cars for just a second this really helps you get noticed. Slow down through town especially at intersections, Be on the gas not the brake crossing R X R tracks. But, the most important thing is to use your head while riding. It will keep you safe.

  6. I've been riding for 40 yrs. one of the best way's to be seen is ride from dawn-dusk with high beams all day!!!!!!. If your worried about the light bulb burning out. IS YOUR LIFE WORTH A LIGHT BULB. Next time your riding with your other bikers look in your mirror. At your next stop ask them to put highs on. See it makes a big differents!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Hey Big Bird, Being seen is right on top as being part of a safe riders 'style'. In town the bright light on a scooter will on some bikes take away from oncoming traffic being able to see your turn signals so use your brights with discretion. On a Harley Bagger I always recommend running with the spot lights and the headlight on, three lights make the bike look bigger to others. One single light can sometimes look like a streetlight in the distance to a four wheeler, especially if they only look once before they pull out in front of you...