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How can you compensate for bad drivers on your motorcycle?

You have been riding your motorcycle on the California roadways for a while now, and you may be comfortable with your skill level. However, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the risks you face on your bike never go away, and because there are so many factors that contribute to any given crash, your best bet is to manage that risk with defensive riding.

One way to identify hazards you face from other drivers is to analyze your own driving skills. If you find yourself glancing at your phone while behind the wheel, braking hard or having near misses, consider how these behaviors from other motorists affect you when you are riding. How do you avoid hitting a driver who pulls out in front of you, slams on the brakes or swerves suddenly into your lane?

Maneuverability skills play a major part in avoiding crashes. You should be able to make your motorcycle do what you want when you want it to. If you lack precise control, you will not be able to make the sudden stop or accelerate to dodge the near miss.

Another feature of control is traction, and you would do well to have more than you need to compensate for conditions such as slick surfaces. Always ensure that you have the correct tire pressure to mitigate traction risks.

Your chances of a successful defensive maneuver increase significantly if you are maintaining enough following distance. Similarly, you should try not to put yourself in a position where you are too close to a stationary object so you can swerve if you need to.

Even though you believe you have experience and knowledge that would make a basic rider course a waste of time, you may want to consider advanced classes that provide opportunities to practice defensive techniques on a closed course. Because you cannot count on motorists to always do the right thing, you can improve your odds of safe riding by learning how to counter their mistakes.

This general information about motorcycle safety is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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