You're just rumbling along, minding your own business and, suddenly, the ground starts moving beneath you. The roadway jumps and jiggles. You're in the middle of an earthquake.

In a car, you're all right. On foot, you're probably good to go too. But what should you do if you're on a motorcycle and an earthquake occurs?

The question came to the forefront of our heads after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake recently struck the island of Taiwan. CCTV footage and cellphone videos taken show not just the destruction an earthquake can cause, but also a handful of motorcyclists unsure of what to do when the ground below them started moving.

Some stopped, some kept going, and others jumped off. And then a smaller quake hit the Eastern seaboard of the United States, where more riders likely felt the effects on their commutes.

Honestly, we didn't really know what to do either. I, myself, lived in Southern California for a while and experienced quite a few earthquakes in my time, but never on a motorcycle. And when we asked Google, as well as Alexa, what to do, neither device provided good enough answers.


Quora and Reddit's users were also stumped and asking the same things.

So we emailed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to see if there were best practices or guidance for motorcyclists in the event of an earthquake. Here's what the organization told us. 

According to MSF's VP of Training Systems Dr. Ray Ochs, "If an earthquake happens while you are riding, keep riding to find a place where objects are not likely to fall on you. When you are able to come to a controlled stop, do so in the safest place possible. [And] be glad you wear a helmet and good riding gear."

Not terrible advice if you ask us. I'd also personally add that you should get off your motorcycle as quickly as safe and then move away from it so that the bike doesn't fall on top or get bounced onto you. 

Luckily, earthquakes are pretty infrequent for most of the world. They happen, sure, but you're not super likely to encounter one. That said, you should know what to do if one strikes. Especially if the "big one" hits. 

And to paraphrase Dr. Ochs, wear good gear. 

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