Motorcycle Safety

Logo for the NPS Rule the Ridge campaign


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.

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.

three tenets of motorcycle safety


Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
1 minute, 39 seconds

Join Parkway Chief Ranger, Neal Labrie as he describes some simple ways to stay safe while enjoying your ride on America's Favorite Drive.

Last updated: March 11, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803


828 348-3400

Contact Us