Car drivers who collide with motorcycles often say they didn’t see the motorcycle. This is because the outline of a motorcycle and rider is much smaller than that of other vehicles, especially when seen from the front or back.
As a motorcyclist, it is safer to assume a driver has not seen you.
This section describes things you can do to make yourself more visible to other road users.
Riding with your headlight on dip (low beam) during the day makes you and your motorcycle more noticeable.
If your motorcycle was manufactured on or after 1 January 1980, you must use your headlight on dip (low beam) or daytime running lamps during daylight hours.
Brightly coloured, reflective helmets and clothing will help make you more visible. White, orange, yellow and red are the colours most easily seen.
Reflective tape on your clothing or motorcycle can also help others to see you.
It is highly recommended that you wear a reflective vest at all times. A reflective vest is more noticeable to drivers behind you than a tail light is.
You should use the horn on your motorcycle to attract attention in a situation that could be dangerous.
For example, if a vehicle is in the lane next to you and you are both coming up behind a vehicle ahead, the vehicle alongside you may pull out to pass. A glance at the front wheels will tell you that they are pulling out. Toot your horn in case the driver hasn’t noticed you.
You can use your position on the road to make sure others see you.
For example, by riding in a position behind the right-hand wheels of the vehicle ahead (at the correct following distance), you are more easily seen in the rearvision mirrors of the vehicle in front and are therefore more likely to be noticed. This right wheel-track position also allows you to be seen by oncoming vehicles, and for you to see them.
As well as helping you to be seen, riding in this lane position allows you to avoid oil slicks that form in the centre of lanes and also discourages lanesharing by other motorists.
There are, however, many occasions when you will need to change your lane position because of changing traffic conditions.
Here are some other ways you can ride your motorcycle where others can see you.
Accelerating fast or travelling over the speed limit may cause other road users to miss seeing you or misjudge your speed.
For example, a driver about to turn may see the way is clear but, before the turn is completed, a fast-moving motorcycle can suddenly appear and change the traffic situation. This can lead to a crash.