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Tips for riding safely on the freeway

From beginner riders to advanced
  • November 23, 2016
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The freeway can be an intimidating place for most beginner riders. Here at AK Motors, we highly value our customer’s safety; so we’ve put together a list of tips for safe riding on the freeway! On-ramps are highly dangerous where traffic is merging onto or off the highway. They often consist of sharp turns, forcing motorcyclists to lean hard to turn their motorcycle. Even more so, riders should be aware of the increased dangers on-ramps pose when they are wet or slippery. Successfully negotiating the curve of the on-ramp comes as the first challenge to any rider. As a rider, you must always monitor the traffic around you at all times. As you approach the freeway from the on-ramp, you must identify a safe spot that you can merge into and signal to accelerate (at a safe and controllable speed) into that spot safely, essentially merging with the freeway traffic. If you are already on the freeway and passing an on-ramp where traffic is getting onto the highway, move away to the far left lanes as possible. Most drivers will not see you (motorcycle) and mistake the space you occupy as free to merge into. One important thing to remember, riding on the far right lanes where you are passing on-ramps poses higher risks as many drivers make the last minute cross over lanes to exit. Below is an illustration showing a vehicle crossing a lane to exit at the last minute and what dangers are present for those riding in the far right lanes.
l98lsraa5wx4f2cekvnmIllustration by John L. Stein.

Other tips include being aware of your lane positioning. Avoid riding in vehicles blind spots or right beside vehicles. Pressingly important, is your distance from other vehicles on the freeway. Always keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles, especially SUVs, trucks and semi trucks. The rule of thumb is the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. Changing lanes requires extreme caution on the freeway. Before changing lanes, you need to ensure that there is enough space between you and the vehicles around you. Ensure that space you want to merge is clear and that no additional vehicles are trying to merge into the same space. Miscalculating the speed of the traffic, especially the speed of the vehicles behind you, can cause serious or fatal accidents. Showing your intention of merging into another lane on the freeway is recommended as the turn signals on motorcycles are small and hard to see. Holding your hand out to indicate left/right merging intentions helps other drivers see your position. Again, always monitor the traffic around you at all times! If you want more information, please check out the DMV website for motorcycle safety on the freeway. We, AK Motors, also recommend reading our other blogs on lane splitting safely and riding your motorcycle in the rain. Check out our inventory for some of the hottest used bikes around town!

Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.

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