Is there anything more exciting than cruising through the countryside on your motorcycle? Millions around the world love the thrill of hopping on a bike, but the sport can be dangerous if you’re not careful.
Luckily, you can reduce your risk of accident or injury if you ride safely. Motorcycle safety is so much more than just wearing a helmet—there’s plenty of safety tips that riders need to know.
If you’re new to riding, or just a bit out of practice, how can you stay safe on the road? Keep reading to find eight safety tips that can benefit riders, new or experienced.
Motorcycle Safety Means Always Wear Protective Gear
Always ride with appropriate motorcycle safety gear—it’s essential to keeping you safe. Not only will it protect your skin, but it could save your life.
Riders should suit up with a full-face helmet, protecting their head and face. You’ll also want gloves made from abrasion-resistant materials, such as leather.
Riding pants, a jacket, and boots will provide protection as well. Even on hot days, you should never ride in shorts or with exposed skin—in case of an accident, your skin can be severely damaged or scraped.
Make Sure You’re Visible to Others on the Road
Motorcycles, being much smaller than cars or trucks, are harder for motorists to see on the road. When riding, try to keep a safe distance from other cars and also indicate that you’re turning or switching lanes well in advance.
If your motorcycle is in the blind spot of other drivers, they won’t be able to see you, which puts you at risk. Try to drive defensively, but safely.
Follow All Rules and Regulations
All motorists are legally required to follow all the rules of the road—even bikers. As a bike can maneuver through heavy traffic much easier than a car, it can be tempted to swerve in and out of traffic or speed down breakdown lanes to avoid traffic delays.
However, these behaviors can not only result in tickets and fines but also accidents. Driving safely means following road rules.
Although a few beers with the boys may seem like a good idea, always take the bike home before cracking open a beer. Alcohol and motorcycles don’t mix under any circumstances.
Tragically, alcohol is a factor in about 28% of motorcycle deaths. When we drink, our reaction times slow down, we lose focus, and balancing becomes harder.
If you are going to have a beer, make sure you always remain under the legal blood alcohol limit if you’re getting behind the wheel.
Pay Attention to the Weather
Before hitting the road, have a good look at the weather forecast. The weather can change quickly, with conditions such as rain, snow, and heavy winds making riding much more challenging.
If you’re not experienced riding in inclement weather, then it’s best to postpone your ride until conditions have improved. It’s helpful to download a weather app onto your phone so that you can always check what’s on the way before riding.
Slippery roads can be the worst enemy of a motorcycle, and it only takes one wrong turn or swerve to crash—riding on wet roads isn’t worth the risk.
Take an Advanced Safety Course
It can be helpful to upskill every so often by taking a motorcycle safety course. If you’re willing to dedicate a weekend to take a class, you can learn plenty of useful tips and tricks.
It always helps to stay up-to-date, especially if you haven’t ridden in a while. Not only will you learn driving techniques that may save your life, but you’ll also meet fellow motorcycling enthusiasts.
Sometimes, taking safety courses can lead to lower insurance premiums as well, as a safe driver is less risk to auto insurance companies.
Service Your Bike Regularly
Your motorcycle is a complex machine, so if you want to keep it running safely, it needs regular maintenance.
You look after your car with regular servicing and oil changes, so you’ll need to do the same with your bike.
You’ll want to find an experienced mechanic in your area who can help look after your bike. In addition, you’ll want to take a minute to inspect your bike before each ride, ensuring that the tires look good, there aren’t any leaks, and no nuts or bolts look loose.
It’s always better to find problems before leaving than home, rather than halfway into a long road trip.
Don’t Ride When Tired
One of our top motorcycle safety tips is to never ride when you’re feeling tired. Fatigue is one of the biggest killers on the road, as cyclists need to remain alert and focused at all times. Always get a good night’s sleep before a ride and make frequent stops to ensure you stay safe on the road.
Unfortunately, fatigue can often lead to accidents. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and need a lawyer, learn more here.
Use These Motorcycle Safety Tips to Ride with Confidence
Motorcycle riding can be one of the best ways to open the open road, but motorcycle safety should always be at the front of mind on every ride. Use the tips above to develop a strategy to ensure you always stay safe when on the road.
Although it can be risky, paying attention to safety and road rules can greatly reduce your chances of an accident. Ride safely and you’ll be able to enjoy the pleasures of biking for years to come!
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