Tom Wolf, Governor Leslie S. Richards, Acting Secretary, Department of Transportation

General Tips for Riding a Motorcycle Safely

Motorcycle safety is a growing concern not only in the Commonwealth, but nationwide. More and more people are turning to motorcycles as their primary mode of transportation. When ridership increases, risk increases. Below are a few tips that can improve your level of safety:

  • Be Safe.
  • Conduct a pre-ride check to identify any mechanical defects that could jeopardize your safety.
  • Be Visible.
  • Signal your intentions
  • Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.
  • Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.
  • Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
  • Dress for Safety.
  • Wear a D.O.T. approved helmet and eye protection.
  • Wear bright colored clothing, over the ankle foot protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and full-fingered gloves.
  • Use Common Sense.
  • Keep a safe distance from other motorists and give yourself enough time to react to dangerous situations.
  • Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes.
  • Ride Unimpaired.
  • Don't ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • If someone has had too much to drink, intervene.
  • Be Courteous and Responsible.
  • Respect other drivers.
  • Don’t speed; know the local traffic laws and rules of the road.
  • Be Prepared. Practice.
  • Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic.
  • Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.
  • Find out more about Pennsylvania’s free Motorcycle Safety Program.
  • Read fellow riders’ safety tips and share your own at

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