Riding a motorcycle is one of the best ways to enjoy the open road. However, motorcycle riders are 27 percent more likely to get into a fatal accident than car drivers. Staying safe on the road doesn`t have to be a challenge. You just need to be willing to make a few adjustments to your riding routine and style. Here are a few key motorcycle safety tips to keep in mind both before you hit the road and while you`re cruising down the highway.
1. Always Wear a Helmet
One of the first investments anyone getting into driving a motorcycle needs to make is a high-quality motorcycle helmet. Talk to your dealership for advice on the best helmets for your riding style and size.
They`re trained to help fit helmets properly for every rider. Even better, they`ll carry helmets that meet all modern safety standards so you`ll never have to worry about investing in gear that won`t protect you.
It`s also a good idea to wear gloves, leather jackets, and stiff-soled shoes while you ride. These will help protect you from flying road debris and make it easier to maintain control over your motorcycle anytime you`re riding.
The fact that they make you look great while cruising down the road doesn`t hurt either.
2. Check Your Bike Every Time
Anytime you go down the road, your bike gets jostled and vibrated. Over time, components can loosen and shift, putting you at risk while you`re getting up to speed.
Get in the habit of inspecting your motorcycle before every ride.
Check the tires` air pressure and refill them as needed. Secure any loose cargo, gear, or tools you`re carrying with you. Test the brakes and make sure they`re responsive before you pull out of your parking space.
It`s okay if those safety checks take time at first. As long as you go over the details and make sure your motorcycle is in good condition, you`ll be safer on the road.
The safety checks will get faster the more you do them and the more often you ride.
3. Ride Like You`re Driving a Car
Riding a motorcycle is distinctly different from driving a car. Your braking distance is shorter, you`re able to maneuver more easily through traffic, and you`re better equipped to dodge hazardous situations.
However, since your motorcycle is so much more nimble, it can be tempting to engage in more reckless driving tactics.
Instead, ride your motorcycle the same way you`d drive your car. Signal with your lights or use biker hand signals when changing lanes or turning. Start braking sooner so you have more distance between you and the cars in front of you.
When you follow the rules of the road and ride the same way you drive, you`ll be better able to stay safe.
4. Invest in High-Visibility Clothing
Motorcycles take up far less space on the road than even the smallest commuter cars. This means other drivers often have a hard time seeing you even when you`re not in their blind spot.
The best way to combat this is to wear high-visibility clothing even in full daylight.
Invest in a neon safety vest and make sure to wear reflective clothing at night. This will help other drivers notice you more quickly and reduces the likelihood of getting hit.
Keep in mind that no amount of high-visibility clothing will eliminate the risk of getting hit. If you are in an accident, don`t deal with it on your own. Hire a motorcycle accident attorney to represent your case so you can get the treatment and money you deserve.
5. Enroll in a Rider Safety Course
Whether you`re new to riding or you`ve gone on motorcycle rides for decades, it never hurts to take a refresher on motorcycle safety. Enroll in a rider safety course or an advanced riding course and brush up on your skills.
These courses help you review everything from the basic controls of your motorcycle to more advanced defensive riding techniques to help you avoid accidents.
By the end of the course, you`ll know how to ride a motorcycle safely and will gain access to additional motorcycle safety tips that can make you a more successful rider.
6. Never Ride Under the Influence
The law views riding a motorcycle the same way it views driving a car. You need to have a valid license and can never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you do, the police can arrest you for driving under the influence. Depending on your situation, this could result in expensive fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.
Instead, only ride when you`re sober. If you think you`ve had one drink too many or feel that certain medications make it harder for you to ride safely, call a cab.
7. Ride in Good Weather
Even the most experienced riders find controlling their motorcycles harder in inclement weather. When roads get slick, it`s easy to lose control and spin out.
If you do, you risk damaging your bike and, worse, your health.
Unless you`re very confident in your riding ability, avoid riding in bad weather. Check the forecast and only use your motorcycle if the weather is nice and the roads will stay dry.
If you think there`s a chance of a strong downpour or see ice collecting on the asphalt, take your car or find another way to get where you need to go.
Keep These Motorcycle Safety Tips in Mind
Nothing beats the feeling of the wind against your face as you cruise down the road. You just need to be cautious and ride carefully every time.
Staying safe on the road needs to be a priority for every motorcycle rider. Keep these motorcycle safety tips in mind and you`ll be on the right track.
New to the world of riding motorcycles and want more tips on how to improve your ride? Check out our latest posts.