If you have ever ridden a motorcycle you understand why people love them. Seeing the sun rise on the horizon and feeling the windy breeze in your hair is glorious.
The skills needed to ride a motorcycle are different than those required for driving a car. Some accidents are unavoidable whereas others can be avoided by understanding some basic safety tips.
Wear the Right Gear
Just as wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle can protect you in case of an accident, wearing one when riding a motorcycle is even more important. Motorcycle helmets save lives…period! Riders who don’t wear helmets are 40% more likely to suffer a fatal head injury.
You should also protect your eyes from debris and the sun. You can either use goggles or buy a helmet that has a visor. If you are wearing a jacket, it should be made of leather or other reinforced material to add as much between you and the pavement should you fall.
Wear long pants and boots to protect your legs, ankles, and feet. You should also protect your hands by wearing gloves. If the weather is warm, you should wear clothing made of breathable material because it is more comfortable.
Don’t Ride When the Weather is Nasty
Unless your motorcycle is your only means of transportation, you can choose when to take it out for a ride, or not.
Driving or riding during a snow storm is dangerous. The roads are slippery and visibility is limited. Heavy rains can also be hazardous for motorcycle riders. Rain reduces traction and can make the ride challenging.If you can, avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
Follow the Law
It is true that you have no control over other riders or car drivers, but you should do whatever you can to reduce your risk of having an accident. Don’t take unnecessary risks, obey the traffic laws, and don’t go over the speed limit.
People who learn to be defensive drivers assume that the other drivers will do something stupid like cut you off or not signal when turning. This way you will always be prepared to react. As a motorcycle rider, you should assume that the drivers can’t see you and be prepared.
Be aware of the cars around you by leaving enough room between you and the car in front of you. This will give you the time you need to react quickly and stop should the vehiclein front of you slam on their brakes. It’s better to be careful than sorry.
In the majority of accidents involving another vehicle and a motorcycle, it is the driver not the rider that is at fault. Motorcycle accident attorneys of Abel Law Firm understand that if you are involved in a motorcycle accident that is not your fault, then you “should not have to pay for someone’s reckless or negligent actions”.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
People who ride motorcycles have to be more careful of the conditions of the roads they are driving on than car drivers.
Oil spills, fallen branches, and uneven surfaces can cause a rider to skid out of control or even worse, get thrown off the bike. If there is no way to avoid such obstacles, do your best to slow down as much as you can and hold on tight.
Take a Safety Course
There are riding education courses you can take to hone your skills and develop safe riding techniques. The dealership where you purchased your motorcycle might offer training courses. You can also check with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Practice your skills in areas where there is not much traffic before taking to the roads with heavier traffic.
Don’t Drink and Ride
Just as you shouldn’t drink and drive, don’t drink and ride. You also want to be sure that you are well-rested. If you are tired or drowsy, your ability to react will be impaired.
Buy the Right Motorcycle
When deciding which motorcycle to purchase, make sure you choose the size that is right for you. Your feet should rest flatly on the ground when you are sitting in the seat. The controls and handlebars need to be easy to reach.
You also don’t want your bike to be too heavy for you to be able to maneuver. Getting anti-lock brakes is also a good idea to be safe.
There are many reasons why motorcycle riders get into accidents. Some are avoidable by riding responsibly and following the safety rules above.