Mother Nature’s Got Jokes. It sometimes feels like she listens to the weather forecast and then changes it just to keep us on our toes.

Things to Consider When Heading Out on a Ride

We know you are careful on your bike, but before heading out for a ride, please keep top of mind:

  • The current conditions, extended forecast, and plan your ride accordingly.
  • What you’ll do when unexpected weather arises, because that will happen at some point.
  • Our Florida storms can quickly lower visibility and make you and your bike nearly impossible for others on the road to see.
  • Pay attention to what is happening around you, so you can adapt and stay safe as conditions change.
  • A storm is an excellent opportunity to stop, rest and get something to eat or drink until it passes.

If your best option is to pull off the road under shelter or an overpass:

  • Shelter as far from moving traffic as possible and keep aware of moving vehicles and changing traffic situations. Flares can be your friend.

Sometimes continuing on is the only or best option. In this case, remember how easy it is for other vehicles to overlook you in blinding rain, heck even cars can be difficult to see, so use all your super powers to continue on until there’s a safe spot to stop.

Are you a little bit psychic?

As a biker it’s almost necessary. Think about it, you’re in the middle lane of the expressway and there is traffic on both sides, up ahead you see the entrance ramp with a fully loaded dump truck slowly merging onto the highway.

  • Can you predict what the cars ahead will do?
  • What will the cars in the right lane do?
  • What about the cars in your lane?

Most importantly:

  • How will you and your bike plan for these changes BEFORE they happen…?

See and Be Seen

As a biker it’s good to stand out in a crowd! What we mean by that is – too frequently, drivers pull out in front of motorcycles (usually while turning left) and end up causing serious or even deadly accidents, simply because they never saw the man (or woman) on the motorcycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 40% of two-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles happen when a car turns left and the motorcycle is going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.

There are simple ways to make yourself seen on roads full of distractions.

Make Yourself More Visible

  • Bright Colored Helmet with Stickers – your head is the tallest/highest part of your bike, placing a reflective sticker and sporting a bright helmet make your head—and the rest of you—harder to miss.
  • Reflective Jacket – Wear a jacket with reflective patches or tape – jackets are often made with reflective patches or stripes to improve your visibility to other drivers.
  • Bright/Light Colored Clothing – Light- or bright- colored shirts, jackets, pants are more easily seen than gray, brown, or black and/or add a reflective vest on top of your clothes.
  • If you (understandably) love your black leather jacket, it’s easy to add reflective patches. Embroidered patches are available in a variety of styles and an online search shows it is inexpensive to make your own patch. Reflective thread used to sew on patches is everywhere from Amazon to Walmart and makes it easier to see you.

Make Your Bike More Visible

  • Daytime Running Lights – Are your daytime running lights operational and turned on? This is the law in Florida, it also makes you safer. Automatic daytime running lights are standard on most bikes these days, but if your ride is older, keep your low beams on during the day.
  • Headlight Modulator – An FDOT-approved headlight modulator should also be used between sunrise and sunset. Modulators alternate the frequency of your headlight beam between high and low making you easier to see.

Note: Even among law enforcement, the flickering nature of a legal headlight modulator is sometimes confused with the illegal use of a flashing “wig wag” light used by emergency vehicles.

Between sunrise and sunset, you may use a headlight modulator to vary either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lower intensity, under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 571.108.

  • Reflectors or Reflective Tape – Custom reflectors can be added without sacrificing appearance. Reflective tape on saddlebags glows bright when struck by headlights. If subtly is more your style, “stealth” tape is nearly invisible during the day, but bright white at night.


Rubenstein Law offers unparalleled support to the Florida motorcycle community, promotes safe riding, and provides riders and their families with unrivaled legal representation.

Location, Location, Location

Just like with real estate, location means everything. Here we mean visibility and maneuverability.

If you can lose a big truck in your blind spot on the expressway, think how easy it is for a driver going 75 MPH to not see you on your bike.

Keep in Mind As You Ride

  • If you have a choice of lanes, pick the one that will not require you to change lanes frequently and where you are visible to others and have a good sight-line yourself.
  • Ride at the speed of traffic and maintain adequate space between you and the surrounding cars. Think of shoulders and medians as potential escape routes.
  • When on multi lane expressways, you can have cars on both sides so make it easy for them to see you by avoiding their blindspot. Pull a little ahead and then drop back as traffic allows so drivers know you are there and don’t try to enter your lane with you in it.
  • On roadways with two lanes, keep right except to pass. If there are over two lanes, avoid the far-right lane to reduce conflicts at entrance and exit points. When you change lanes, be sure someone does not want the same space you do.

Stay Within Your Lane

  • As a biker, dice your lane into thirds: left, middle, and right. The best lane position for you changes based on conditions.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, not just in front of you but behind and to either side. Giving space ahead for others helps you maintain space for yourself.
  • Don’t ride behind vehicles that block your view of what’s happening ahead.
  • Knowing what’s coming up behind you is important. Use your mirrors to keep a 360 degree view of your situation.
  • Change lane positions to avoid hazards and dangerous road conditions
  • Pick the lane position that allows you to see and be seen, especially as you approach a line of oncoming cars.
  • Create room between you and surrounding vehicles.
  • Avoid blind spots.


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