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Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. It’s not a secret that removing safety features like, well, doors, panels, and seatbelts makes a crash exponentially less survivable. Motorcycle safety is tenuous enough without throwing road rage into the equation. However, you can help save a life when you “adopt a rider” and provide vital distance and coverage to our fellow two-wheeled travel buddies.

When you adopt a rider, you take the place of an inattentive driver or tailgater

When you ride a motorcycle, you concede protections. A fender bender on a busy street could be an eye-opening inconvenience for a driver. However, that same impact could kill or seriously injure a rider. That’s just the reality of things, right? Well, not quite. 

Whether you’re a motorcyclist or not, safety becomes your responsibility as soon as you leave your point of origin. As such, you can earn some points with the Universe by looking out for the little guys, those most fragile animals on our roads. 

So how can you help? I’m glad you asked. You can open your eyes and adopt a rider. Next time you see a motorcyclist on the highway, you can proactively take a spot behind a rider. Bear with me here, motorcycle safety experts. Give the rider a safe following distance, and take the place of a tailgater, a space cadet playing Cupcake Crash (or whatever’s popular now), or an angry road rager. 

A rider in motorcycle safety equipment rides on the highway as a driver practices adopting a rider.
A rider on a California highway | Sundry Photography via iStock

Simple, right? Well, yes. You can prevent some danger from a motorcycle’s most vulnerable approach angles. Granted, blind spots are blind spots, and you can’t do everything for your highway homie. However, you can reduce some risk by increasing their rearward visibility and protecting them from dangerous drivers. 

‘Adopting a rider’ is more than good motorcycle safety practice; it can prevent the deadly impact of road rage

In addition to enhancing motorcycle safety, adopting a rider can reduce some of the dangers posed by road rage. Sometimes, tailgaters aren’t tailgaters. Sometimes, they’re petty drivers with a complex that can only be solved with on-road violence. 

Consequently, there are videos of drivers merging behind a motorcycle to prevent a road rager from running them over. Now, we don’t condone putting yourself or your occupants in danger. What’s more, a thrust-happy, nimble bike like a BMW S 1000 RR or Suzuki GSX-R is more than capable enough to elude a workaday pickup truck or minivan. Don’t endanger yourself on their behalf. 

If you encounter any instance of road rage, report it to the authorities. Oh, and thanks for looking out for our sport bike cohorts and V-Twin voyagers.