Riding a motorcycle is an exciting and thrilling experience. The unpleasant reality, however, is that motorcycle riding may be extremely deadly if basic safeguards are not taken. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) calculated that motorcyclists were 28 times more likely than automobile passengers to die in a traffic collision.
The DOT also stated that 5,029 motorcyclists died in collisions in 2016, a 5.1% increase from 2015. With figures like these, it seems logical to take motorcycle safety seriously. We’ve developed a list of pointers to help you enjoy your travel safely.
Tips To Increase Motorcycle Rider Safety
There are many dedicated riders who can avoid accidents and enjoy their bikes without incident–but their success is due to following basic motorcycle safety procedures. Here are some methods to maintain your journeys incident-free to ensure you stay on the safe side of the road.
1. Gear Up
Contrary to popular belief, riding a bicycle is not primarily about appearing cool. Regardless of the weather, shorts, a T-shirt, and sandals are not appropriate equestrian attire. Even jeans offer negligible protection from injury and road rash in the event of a slip. You can wear leather or reinforced jackets, trousers, and boots for extreme protection.
Glasses or goggles are required if you have an open-faced helmet, and gloves should always be worn to shield your hands. In humid climates, there is clothing designed specifically for ventilation and cooling.
2. Stay in the Comfort Zone
Make certain that neither your chosen route nor your motorcycle is beyond your capabilities. You should be able to rest your feet level on the ground while seated on your bicycle; no tiptoeing! And if the bicycle feels excessively cumbersome to you, it probably is.
You should be able to easily mount and dismount your motorcycle, and its handlebars and controls should be within easy reach.
3. Examine Your Vehicle
Perform a thorough inspection of your bicycle before hitting the road. Every time you mount your motorcycle, you should inspect the tire pressure, the mirrors, and the lighting. A rapid inspection of your bicycle will reveal any loose bolts, leaks, or other mechanical hazards. Additionally, you must be diligent with routine care and maintenance.
4. Use Your Head
While mirrors are useful, they cannot be relied on simply to keep you aware of what is in your immediate riding environment. You must utilize your brain to remain aware of your environment and your location in relation to the people around you.
Experienced riders understand that it is critical to keep your head and eyes up while rounding bends and that the safest method to change lanes is to turn and look over your shoulder to ensure you are clear.
5. Keep an Eye on the Road
As a motorcycle rider, you must pay close attention to the road you are on. When entering curves, err on the side of caution and keep an eye out for potential gravel or other unstable road conditions. Crossing railroad tracks should be done with caution because the paint can be slick, as can white lines at stoplights.
6. Locate Your Happy Location
Getting on your bike in the incorrect frame of mind is one of the most dangerous things a rider can do. Riding angry, drowsy, or preoccupied can be dangerous. Remember that when you’re riding a motorcycle, you’re the only one on the road watching out for you.
7. Be Aware of the Weather Forecast
The weather is a constant stumbling block to ideal driving conditions, and the perils of wet or snowy roads magnify when you’re on two wheels. Lack of visibility is a rider’s worst fear, and you’ll never appreciate how much being pummeled by raindrops at 50 or even 30 miles per hour can hurt unless you’ve been trapped on your bike in the rain.
8. Make Sure Two Isn’t a Crowd
Who wouldn’t want to ride about in a hottie’s saddle? But in order to keep the journey safe and attractive, you need to make sure that you are at ease with the passenger as well as that they know what to do. They require the proper footwear, protection gear, and a helmet. Additionally, you must make sure kids are aware of what to do when you turn or stop.
9. A Motorcycle Brake
It is not any easier for you to see other motorcyclists just because you are riding a motorcycle. When turning or changing lanes, always check again. Additionally, you must get practice breaking in various scenarios.
Always leave additional room for the cars in front of you, and learn how to stop suddenly without locking your brakes, to ensure that a sudden halt won’t lead to catastrophe. In fact, installing anti-lock brakes would be a good idea. The IIHS found that having ABS brakes on your bike can cut your risk of getting in a fatal collision by 22%.
10. Share Some Love
There is no denying that motorcyclists are frequently disregarded or treated like inferior road users. You have the power to influence this change as a rider. Always behave when driving as if you are representing motorcycle riders worldwide.
Be considerate, cautious, and conscious that you are representing motorbikes to others around you when you drive. Avoid letting the desire to prove a point or exact revenge on a careless motorist override your better judgment; after all, doing so would take away from the enjoyment of riding in the first place.