June 24th, 2016
It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle is far more dangerous than driving a car. That fact doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying all the perks of your motorcycle however. Here are a few guidelines to follow so you can stay safe on the road.
Wear your helmet.
This is the most common and crucial piece of advice we can give. Don’t get caught up in the fantasy of feeling the wind in your hair. The most dangerous injury a person can receive is a head injury. Wearing your helmet while you ride can be the difference between a few scrapes and bruises and severe head trauma or even death. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that wearing a helmet reduces your risk of dying in a collision by 37 percent, according to the federal government.
There is a reason besides vanity that motorcyclists wear leather. It’s sturdy and offers protection in case of an accident. Leather will not easily rip or tear, keeping your skin intact in the event of pavement contact. It also offers protection on a more basic level, from natural elements such as wind.
Be Aware of Other Drivers.
Always keep your eyes open for other drivers. This may seem obvious, but the fact is that motorcycles are much smaller than cars, and other drivers pose a serious risk to you on the road. Always be aware of drivers looking to pull out in front of you, and be ready to hit the brakes and slow down. Never ride in a car’s blind spot, and be sure you are seen by those driving next to you. The best place to ride while in traffic is behind the car in front of you and directly in their side mirror’s view. This will ensure that they can see you, and avoid a collision if they’re negligent and don’t look.
Additionally, if you enjoy riding in a group of other motorcyclists, never ride side by side. Always stager yourselves on the road. This is essential for allowing enough space and time to react should the other motorcyclist lose control or get into an accident.
Check that everything is working properly before you ride.
You’re supposed to do this when driving a car as well, but it’s even more important for a motorcyclist. Before you ride, take the time to make sure that your lights are on and your turn signals are working properly. Be sure that there are no issues that might cause a problem for you once you’re already out on the road.
Avoid poor weather.
We take for granted that our cars protect us from the elements, but even the mildest of conditions like rain can pose a threat to motorcyclists. Slippery, wet pavement can throw you off balance and otherwise compromise your safety. If you have to go out for extended periods of time, be sure to check the forecast first.
Keep your eyes on the road.
In addition, also be on the lookout for non-weather related road hazards, such as pot holes, bumps, and cracks in the pavement. These can go completely unnoticed to a driver in a car, but can also be quite dangerous to a motorcyclist. Uneven pavement can throw you off-balance and send you sprawling, possibly resulting in injury, so be attentive to the road as well when you’re out.
Remember to follow these guidelines and always practice motorcycle safety.