If you want to avoid becoming road kill, always follow rule number one:
It is up to you to ride as though you were invisible to other drivers.
A bike will always lose in a collision with a car. You may have had the right of way, but do you really want to be dead right?
The best way to be unhittable is to make yourself more visible to other drivers but never assume that they can see you. Remain aware of what is around you at all times and in your line of travel. The British teach their riders to always do the “Lifesaver.” What’s that? Before you change lanes, actually turn your head and look: you’d be surprised how many times you’ll find a car riding along in your blind spots.
Get to know your commute route, including the best times to travel, and the best shortcuts and traffic patterns. I’ve found that the shortest way is not the best way, and the taking the longer route can result in a lot less stress. At the same time, my closest calls have actually been on quiet neighborhood streets and not congested city roadways!
There’s a lot more to learn and practice about safe motorcycle riding, and the techniques and best practices needed in different environments. If you haven’t taken the MSF’s Basic Rider Course, I strongly encourage you to do so. I’ve met riders who, after riding for years, took the course and admitted they discovered some bad habits which required correcting. Safety on a bike is the key to ensuring you’ll be riding for years to come.
Ride Safe. Ride Aware.