Motorcycle riding can be a thrilling and enjoyable experience, but it also comes with a certain level of risk. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents are 27 times more likely to result in death than accidents involving passenger cars. However, by taking the proper precautions and following a few simple tips, riders can greatly reduce their risk of a crash.
Tip 1: Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
One of the best ways for riders to improve their skills and knowledge of motorcycle safety is to take a motorcycle safety course. These courses, which are often offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) or other organizations, provide hands-on training and instruction on a variety of topics, including braking, cornering, and swerving. Additionally, many states offer a reduced insurance rate or waived riding test for those who successfully complete a motorcycle safety course.
Tip 2: Wear the Right Gear
Proper protective gear is essential for motorcycle riders. At a minimum, riders should wear a DOT-approved helmet, gloves, and sturdy footwear. However, to truly protect against injury in the event of a crash, riders should also consider wearing a leather or reinforced jacket, pants, and full-fingered gloves.
Tip 3: Check Your Bike Before Riding
Before heading out on a motorcycle ride, it’s important to thoroughly check your bike to ensure that it is in good working condition. This should include checking the tire pressure, brakes, lights, and fluid levels. By taking the time to perform a quick pre-ride inspection, riders can greatly reduce the risk of a breakdown or accident.
Tip 4: Keep Your Distance
Another important aspect of motorcycle safety is maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. This is particularly important when following other vehicles, as motorcycles can be hidden in a car’s blind spot. By keeping a safe distance, riders can increase their visibility and reaction time in case of an emergency.
Tip 5: Be Visible
Being visible on the road is crucial for motorcycle safety. This means wearing bright or reflective clothing, using high beams during the day, and using turn signals when making lane changes. Additionally, riders should avoid lane splitting, which is illegal in most states and can be dangerous.
Tip 6: Avoid Distracted Riding
Distracted riding is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. This includes anything from talking on a cell phone to eating while riding. Riders should always keep their full attention on the road and avoid any distractions that could take their focus away from the task at hand.
Tip 7: Watch for Road Hazards
Road hazards, such as potholes, gravel, and debris, can be particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders. To avoid these hazards, riders should always keep a sharp eye on the road and be prepared to swerve or take evasive action if necessary.
Tip 8: Keep a Cool Head
In the event of a crash, it’s important for riders to remain calm and composed. This means not panicking and making hasty decisions that could lead to further injury. Instead, riders should focus on stabilizing themselves and their bike, and seeking medical attention if necessary.
By following these eight tips, motorcycle riders can greatly reduce their risk of a crash and enjoy a safer, more enjoyable riding experience. Additionally, it’s important for riders to stay informed about the latest laws and regulations related