How Motorcyclists Can Make Themselves Visible to Drivers?

Motor Vehicle Accidents | May 10, 2024

Visibility is perhaps one of the most important aspects of riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists who are not visible are, by definition, invisible at some level to others on the roadway. This certainly is not good for safety. Here, we want to review five ways that motorcyclists can make themselves more visible to other drivers on the roadway.

1. Wear High-Visibility Gear

Wearing brightly colored or reflective gear is one of the simplest ways to increase visibility. High-visibility vests, jackets, and helmets can help other drivers see you in low-light conditions or poor weather. Opt for neon colors like yellow, orange, or green, which stand out against the road. Reflective tape or patches are also valuable additions that can reflect headlights and streetlights, ensuring you remain visible from a distance.

2. Use Your Lights and Signals

Proper use of headlights and turn signals is crucial. Always ride with your headlights on, even during the day. Consider using high beams when riding at night or in adverse weather. Ensure your brake lights and turn signals are working correctly, as signaling your intentions to other drivers is essential. Hand signals can also complement turn signals, providing an additional layer of communication with nearby drivers.

3. Position Yourself Wisely

Your lane position can impact your visibility to other drivers. Avoid riding in blind spots, and instead, position yourself where other drivers can easily see you in their mirrors. In stop-and-go traffic, consider staying closer to the center of your lane to remain in the field of view of the car in front. On highways, keep a safe following distance while ensuring you are visible to vehicles ahead and behind.

4. Use Your Horn and Engine Noise

While motorcycles are generally quieter than cars, using your horn or engine noise can draw attention. If you notice a vehicle drifting toward your lane or failing to yield, a quick honk of the horn can remind drivers of your presence. Engine noise is another way to get noticed, especially when approaching intersections or overtaking other vehicles.

5. Stay Alert and Anticipate

Being visible is not just about what you wear or where you ride but also about how you respond to traffic conditions. Stay alert to the actions of other drivers, anticipate sudden lane changes, and be prepared to react. If you suspect a driver has not seen you, slow down or change your position to ensure your safety. Make eye contact with drivers at intersections, giving them visual confirmation of your presence.

Additional Tips For California Motorcyclists

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), riding motorcycles throughout the California roadways involves more than visibility, though that is an incredibly important factor. Increasing safety can also include:


  • Ride with a group. When riding in a group, visibility increases due to the larger number of bikes on the road.
  • Maintain your motorcycle. Make sure your lights, brakes, and other components are functioning correctly to avoid any sudden mishaps.
  • Communicate clearly. Make your intentions known by clearly signaling and using your brakes early.

Unfortunately, regardless of the level of preventative measures motorcyclists take to remain safe on the roadway, there are still times when accidents will occur. We suggest motorcycle accident victims call a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney if they need help after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by the actions of another driver.