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Florida is one of the most popular states in the entire country for motorcyclists. The weather here is warm year-round, so there’s really no bad time for you to enjoy scenic roadways behind the handlebars of a motorcycle. Without a doubt, it can feel freeing and exhilarating to zip down an open road on a motorcycle. However, when you’re riding through heavy traffic on a motorcycle, the experience is often anxiety-inducing and sometimes terrifying.

Just close your eyes and imagine yourself riding through heavy traffic. Visualize trying to read street signs while anticipating traffic signals and pedestrians all while vehicles are crowding you and cutting you off. Riding through heavy traffic can feel like an absolute nightmare, especially for inexperienced riders. What follows may help you stay safe and avoid motorcycle accidents when you are riding through heavy traffic.

Stay visible

When you’re on a motorcycle, never just assume that other drivers see you. Motorcycles have a small profile and are often more difficult for other drivers to spot. However, do all that you can to stay visible. Never wear all-black clothing; instead, wear brightly colored, high-visibility clothing and equipment. Also, it can help to move around in your lane a bit while following slow-moving traffic so that you are more noticeable in the mirrors of vehicles in front of you.

Anticipate and scan

Staying hyper-aware of your surroundings is extremely important when riding in traffic. It is good practice to frequently scan your entire atmosphere; this includes everything from the road and sidewalks to the instruments on your bike. Watch for other vehicles turning or stopping, and try to anticipate what other drivers are going to do. Anticipating the moves of other drivers will help you be in a better position to avoid or evade them.

Ride defensively and aggressively

This may seem like contradicting advice, but when riding in traffic, a combination of riding defensively and knowing when to make an aggressive maneuver can save your life. Stay aware of the space in which you are riding, and be prepared to take evasive actions should a driver make an unsafe move. Also, be prepared to accelerate or be more aggressive should you need to overtake another vehicle or increase your speed suddenly.

Motorcycles can be a fun way to get around; however, keep in mind that you have total exposure to the elements and minimal protection when you’re riding a motorcycle. This means that any crash or accident has a higher chance of being serious or fatal, especially if you are involved in an accident with a larger passenger vehicle. Luckily, there is help available if you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver and are wondering what to do in the aftermath.