Motorcycle Safety

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular destination for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, up to 250 accidents involving motorcycles occur on the parkway each year, some with fatalities and over half resulting in serious injury. In addition to the tips found on the driving safety page, motorcyclists should follow these suggestions to reduce risk. The Rule the Ridge campaign helps educate riders on safe riding practices and behaviors on the unique road that is the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Unforgiving Road Shoulders
The original landscape architects designed the parkway to blend into the landscape. Road shoulders are narrow in places so that the meadows or forest edges grow close to the pavement. Travel in the center of the lane of travel to avoid the unforgiving road shoulders.

Decreasing Radius Curves
A decreasing radius curve may tighten as you go through it. This is a design feature that requires some extra care, especially on motorcycles. Give yourself plenty of time to approach and complete curves. Be aware of your curve position, and avoid straying over the center line.

Safe Group Riding
Riding in large groups of motorcyclists is common on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The formation in which groups ride is important to their safety. Single-file riding is a best practice to follow due to the curvy nature of the parkway. This allows each rider more space to maneuver. Pay close attention to the road and incoming traffic as well as other riders in your group.

Defensive Driving
Oftentimes unsafe driving by other motorists contributes to accidents. Watch for oncoming vehicles straying over the center line. This is common in blind curves. Motorcyclists should stay in the center of the lane of travel to help reduce risk. Pay attention to sudden stops or traffic slow-downs, especially around scenic overlooks, road construction, roadside mowing, or other congested areas.

Road Surface Hazards
You may encounter road hazards such as oil spots, fallen rocks, trees or tree debris, and loose gravel. Pay close attention to the road surface as you ride. Weather such as rain, snow, hail, and ice can also make the road surface slippery and dangerous to ride on. Check the weather forecast before riding, and avoid riding in potentially dangerous conditions if possible.

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2 minutes, 40 seconds

Ranger Mike Hanna explains the importance of motorcyclists riding in the second lane position on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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2 minutes, 40 seconds

Ranger Peter Malionek explains the importance of the three safety messages of the Rule the Ridge campaign: ride in a single file line, ride in position #2, and keep your eyes on the road.

Last updated: July 3, 2024

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199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803


828 348-3400

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