FREE Guide to Prepare Your Michigan Group Motorcycle Trip
Group motorcycle riding can be a great experience in Michigan. The state boasts roadways that hug Lake Michigan shorelines and make for some of the most scenic rides in the country. A ride can quickly become tragic though when common sense, respect for other drivers, and safety are NOT the top of the mind for all riders, especially those traveling in a group. Motorcyclists should only participate in group rides if everyone feels comfortable with their bikes, knows how to ride safely, can identify road hazards and understands the rules and habits within their riding group.
If your group doesn’t have a set of rules to review before planning a trip, the Motorcycle Attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have created this brief guide to help you all enjoy your next trip. Print it off and discuss it with your fellow Michigan riders before you hit the road this summer.
Know and Use Hand Signals, Use Your Mirrors
Before leaving on a group ride, review the hand signals so all riders can communicate during the ride. You can find the most common hand signals provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Also, remind riders to adjust and properly use their mirrors to stay alert of other group riders throughout the trip.
Name the Most Experience Riders the Lead and Sweep
Lead and sweep riders should be the most experienced riders and head up the front and the back of the group. Lead riders look ahead for changes in traffic and road conditions and are know how to communicate effectively with other riders. The sweep rider is the last rider in the group and just as important as the lead as they set the pace for the group. Inexperienced riders or those new to group riding are best traveling just behind the leader.
It is easier for other motorists to see a group of motorcycles riding in formation vs. single riders. In formation, the lead rider will travel in the lane’s left side, and the second rider will stay at least one second back and ride in the right side of the lane. Down the line, other riders will keep at least a two second distance from the second rider in the right side of the lane, and so on. It’s not a good idea to ride directly alongside another rider in the same lane. Traveling close makes it difficult to avoid vehicles and may not provide the amount of reaction time needed to maneuver around a hazard. Experts say it is best to move to single formation when riding in curves, turning, and entering or leaving freeways or highways.
Navigating Intersections and The Risky Left Turn
Intersections present the highest risk for motorcyclists in a group and often create the scene of tragic motorcycle vs. motor vehicle accidents. Left turns at an intersection with a left turn signal arrow will require riders to travel in a tighter formation and allow all riders to get through the intersection safely. Discuss a meet-up location along your route if an intersection or traffic light splits group drivers up.
There should be no competition in motorcycle riding, no passing of other riders and no tailgating — and most important — do not drink, use drugs, or take prescription medications while riding and also wear a helmet. In Michigan, helmets are not required even though head injuries have increased after repeal of Motorcycle Helmet Law.
Enjoy the ride! Be safe!
Helping Michigan Riders Stay Safe
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. and our team of Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers have been helping riders for decades. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident we can help. Call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) today.