Tips for Motorcycle Safety on the Road
Motorcycles offer riders a unique driving experience. Rather than driving an enclosed car or SUV, you are out in the environment.
While this carries additional risk with it, it is also exhilarating.
There’s just something appealing about a two-wheeled vehicle that lets the rider feel the atmosphere around them.
In fact, motorcycle ridership is seeing a spike in popularity as of 2017.
The main concern with motorcycles is safety. But, by taking the proper precautions, it’s entirely possible to ride safely — even without motorcycle training.
Continue reading to learn the safety information every rider should know.
Wear a Helmet
This is perhaps the most important thing to remember.
While feeling the wind blow through your hair like you’re in an ’80s action film may be strongly appealing, it could prove to have disastrous results.
While not foolproof, helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing traumatic brain injury.
When mounting a hunk of steel that can move at highway speeds, there is no excuse to not wear a helmet.
Wear Protective Clothing
Riders should wear protective clothing at all times.
This is especially true if they do not have extensive motorcycle training.
This includes long pants, durable shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt/jacket. In the event an accident does occur, clothing that covers your skin will help prevent injury.
Also, clothing that covers your entire body will help protect you from the elements, such as skin damage from the sun or cold weather.
Wear Light or Reflective Clothing at Night
Driving when it’s dark out is inherently more dangerous than driving during the day.
Many of the accidents that involve motorcycle riders are not the fault of the motorcyclist.
Oftentimes, collisions happen because another driver simply did not see the rider.
At night, this situation becomes even more likely.
Wearing light-colored or reflective clothing after sunset will help reduce the chances that an accident will happen.
Be a Defensive Rider
People often see motorcycles as a method for a unique experience on the road. Others see them as a huge danger and liability.
It’s no secret that an accident involving a motorcycle is often more serious than usual. Unfortunately, the chance of a fatality is 27 times greater than that of a regular car accident.
But, riding a motorcycle does not automatically mean that something bad will happen.
Having a defensive mindset while driving will help you avoid potentially dangerous circumstances.
Other drivers are your biggest danger. But, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to…
Watch the Weather
Poor weather conditions, especially those that involve rain or ice, can be very threatening to motorcycle riders.
While motorcycle training is not needed to drive in this type of weather, it is very important that you take turns slowly.
Furthermore, do not be afraid to move into the right lane and go slightly under the speed limit.
If possible, you should wait for these unfavorable conditions to pass before heading out on the road.
Be Aware of Road Warning Signs
As a motorcycle rider, you need to take into account all of the road hazards that you may encounter.
Sharp turn up ahead? Active construction zone? Maybe even children at play?
Keep an eye out for signs that warn you about upcoming road conditions. Everything on the road is more dangerous for a motorcyclist because of the lack of physical protection.
While you can’t control the environment, you can control how you react to it.
Always be aware of what surrounds you while you’re on the road.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is very important to keep track of. Ironically, it’s also something that people always forget to check.
That’s why newer car models have automatic tire pressure monitoring systems.
But, for motorcycle riders, tire pressure is even more of a concern. If your tires have low pressure and go unchecked, you could experience less tread on the road when you drive.
Even worse: your tire could blow out, and the consequences could be catastrophic.
Like wearing a helmet, checking your tire pressure is a safety measure that is very easy to take.
If you value your safety (and you should), then keep them filled with the appropriate amount of air at all times.
Don’t Ride Tired
Have you ever been driving at night and witnessed somebody slowly drift into another lane (or off the road entirely)?
There’s a chance that they may have been entirely sober.
A fatigued state of mind is very dangerous to drive in. If the rider is tired enough, they may even exhibit signs that are similar to those who are under the influence of alcohol.
These include delayed reaction times and a decreased ability to pay attention to road conditions.
Tired driving, especially on a motorcycle, puts you at an enormous risk. Additionally, you put other people’s lives at risk, as well.
If you are too tired to drive, don’t. Take a nap or wait until the morning, because you’ll never look back and wish you had driven while you were exhausted.
Stay Away From Semi Trucks
Semi trucks are notoriously dangerous for motorcyclists.
When they merge lanes, they carry the thousands of pounds of the truck with them and require an enormous amount of space.
The main issue here is the semi truck driver’s significant blind spot. They simply cannot see a large portion of what is directly beside them.
If a motorcyclist rides in the truck driver’s blind spot and the driver happens to merge unexpectedly, the result is almost sure to be tragic.
If possible, stay as far away from them as you can. If you must pass a truck driver, pass them quickly in a non-adjacent lane.
If you must ride near them, there is a general rule to keep in mind: if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.
Make yourself as visible as you can and move on at the first available opportunity.
No Motorcycle Training? No Problem
If you don’t have extensive motorcycle training, don’t worry. You can still ride.
But, you need to keep all of the above information in mind in order to do so safely.
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