More people are riding motorcycles than ever, and who can blame them? It’s timeless, liberating, and, let’s face it, cool.
Whether you own a motorcycle right now or you’re just browsing options, you must know how to stay safe while on the road. After all, motorcyclists account for 14% of all crash-related fatalities, and they’re only about 3% of the vehicles on the road.
That’s why these motorcycle safety tips can help you be more responsible and protected on the road.
Let’s get started!
Start With the Right Motorcycle
Picking a motorcycle is an exciting process. While you’re at the dealership, there are some things to keep in mind as you shop around.
For starters, find a bike that is easy to get on and off. You don’t want to buy a motorcycle that is too big or too fast if you’re not comfortable with that yet. You can see if it’s the right fit by getting on and resting both feet flat on the ground while seated.
Also, be sure you can reach the controls and handlebars within easy reach.
The bike shouldn’t feel too heavy so that you can maneuver it with ease. Don’t get a bike that feels too complicated to drive; simplicity is key.
Wear Protective Gear
Even as a child, you’re taught to wear a helmet.
The bike might have gotten more impressive, but it doesn’t change the fact that protective gear is necessary. In fact, bike helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%!
It’s not only helmets you should be investing in. You’ll want to protect your eyes as well. This can be in the form of a visor that your helmet comes with or a pair of goggles.
Not only is this good protection from the sun, but it will also ensure you don’t get any debris in your eyes while you’re driving.
Finally, you’ll want the right apparel. This isn’t just about looking good. It’s also about finding clothes that will enhance your safety.
This means jackets made of reinforced material, strong gloves to protect your hands, long pants, and motorcycle boots.
If you live in an area with some warm weather, find apparel made of breathable material.
Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
This isn’t as necessary for people who have been riding for years. Ideally, they already know all these safety tips. This is more for people who are new to motorcycling or haven’t ridden in a long time.
Many dealerships offer a motorcycle training course. You can also contact the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and see what courses they have.
Completing a course could also qualify you for a discount on your motorcycle insurance, and you might be able to skip some testing requirements when you obtain a license.
Once you finish the course, you can practice in areas where there isn’t so much traffic. Getting more and more comfortable with your bike is crucial to becoming a safer driver.
Follow Traffic Rules
Traffic rules are there for a reason; they’re meant to keep everyone safe. You aren’t an exception to the rule because you’re not in a car. In fact, the rules apply to you even more because of how dangerous motorcycles can be.
Be sure to obey the speed limit. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to hit the brakes suddenly. Also, pay attention to all of the local traffic laws and rules of the road.
Be Wary of Bad Weather
There might be a time when you’ll be caught in bad weather. Ideally, you’d want to avoid these conditions whenever possible. If you can’t, there are some things to keep in mind.
The first ten minutes of a rainstorm or snowstorm are the most dangerous. This is because the pollutants and oil on the ground begin to mix with the rain, creating a slick surface. There’s also reduced visibility and a bigger chance of your tires losing their grip.
Be sure to drive slowly, avoid any sudden moments with your break, and be gentle with the brakes.
Keep an eye out for slippery conditions. This isn’t limited to rain. It can also include pebbles, sand, and wet leaves.
If conditions are too dangerous, move to the side.
You can lower the risk of being caught in bad weather by checking the forecast before going for a ride.
Get Good Insurance
You could be the safest motorcycle rider in the world, and an accident might still happen. This is why you’ll need to get good insurance. There are different regulations (like a minimum of liability coverage) depending on the state you live in, but for the most part, you’ll want a plan with more coverage.
There’s collision coverage for when you collide with another vehicle or object. This mainly covers damage to your motorcycle once you meet the deductible.
There’s also motorcycle liability coverage which covers property damage and bodily injury that you cause to another person if there’s a crash. Keep in mind that this doesn’t cover you or your bike.
If you’re paranoid about your bike getting stolen or vandalized, you can purchase insurance for that as well. Good coverage pays damages minus the deductible.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to get good insurance, it may seem like a big investment now, but it can save you a lot of trouble if anything were to happen. If you are in a crash and don’t have great insurance, hire a personal injury lawyer who can help you with your circumstances—be sure to click here to find more information on that.
To lower your risk of being in a motorcycle accident, you’ll need to ride smart and defensively. Be alert of the other cars around you, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, follow the local traffic laws and be sure to signal for any turns or lane changes. Practicing these few good driving habits will make things safer for you and everybody else on the road.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Riding a motorcycle is a fun and unique choice in transportation. With that said, it can also be quite dangerous.
That doesn’t mean you need to switch your bike for a sedan; it simply means there are some motorcycle safety tips you should follow to stay safe and responsible on the road.
Looking for more articles like this? Be sure to check out the lifestyle section of our blog!