Motorcycles are a blast to ride, but the fact is they can be dangerous, and they are not as safe as cars. While the greatest threat to motorcyclists is cars and other drivers, there are some safety steps that, when applied, can minimize the risks of riding a motorcycle. It is important that cyclists control what they can with regards to safety.
Here are some tips for motorcycle safety.
Get a Motorcycle License and take a Motorcycle Safety Course
According to the National Highway & Transportation Safety Authority, approximately 33 percent of motorcycle fatalities involve riders who are not licensed to operate a motorcycle. Obtaining the appropriate license and attending a motorcycle safety course are the first steps in avoiding being included among that 33 percent. The tests, tips, and skills learned when obtaining a license and going through a safety course are invaluable.
Wear the Right Gear
A helmet certified for safety, glasses, and the appropriate clothing and boots will go a long way towards protecting motorcyclists. Sunglasses or goggles will keep your vision clear from flying debris, leather clothing will protect you if a skid or wipeout occurs, and the right boots will keep you in control and free from burns and injury. A helmet is a no-brainer and probably doesn’t require an explanation.
Learn how to Brake Properly
The danger of other motorists elevates the need for cyclists to be well prepared in braking techniques. Riders should never hit the front break first, as this is a sure-fire way to get launched over the front of the handlebars. Always apply the rear brake first to reduce speed and, once slowing occurs ease into the front brake.
As mentioned earlier, motorcyclists always need to be wary of other vehicles. The leading cause of motorcycle accidents is other drivers. Cyclists should stay in the far right lane on the highway to maintain the breakdown lane as a buffer zone should you need it. Also do not ride parallel with cars as they may not see you – being in front or behind allows you time to adjust if a car suddenly comes into your lane. Intersections are a high-risk area for riders. Be sure to look carefully and be aware of cars turning in front of you. Motorcyclists are not as visible to distracted drivers as another vehicle. An abundance of caution will go a long way towards ensuring a safe ride.
Inspect Your Bike Before Riding
A motorcycle has a lot of exposed parts that experience wear and tear. One of the most important parts of a bike are the wheels. Always check tire pressure and make sure it meets the recommended guidelines. Properly inflated tires will keep a bike in control during turns and when braking or encountering road debris. Riders should also inspect fluid levels and look for any leaks, as well as check turn signals and brake lights,
Be Smart on the Road
Being smart means controlling what you can when you ride. Don’t throttle into turns, avoid the center of the lane where oil slicks tend to form, keep your eyes on the road for debris, and also, avoid tailgating or riding in between lanes.
Motorcycle safety is the only way to ensure you’ll be enjoying the ride for many years to come. Stick to these tips, stay safe, and enjoy the thrill of motorcycle riding.