Riding a motorcycle is fun and exciting as it can give the rider a different kind of thrill compared to the usual car driving. However, it is also considerably more dangerous for the rider and requires balance, coordination, and good judgment to minimize the risk of accidents. While it is best to prevent getting involved in accidents as much as possible, it would be a good idea to be ready for medical emergencies when you go out for a ride. That is not to say for sure that something will happen, but it is best to be prepared for any eventuality. In case of a dispute, it also helps to have motorcycle accident lawyers on standby to provide assistance when needed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are almost 30 times more likely to suffer from fatal injuries from crashes than vehicle passengers. Chances of injury are also four times higher compared to car drivers and passengers. More than 5,000 motorcycle riders were involved in tragic crashes in the US in 2020. If you love to ride motorcycles, always keep safety in mind whenever you’re on the road. Like all motorcyclists, it is important to understand safety challenges such as size and visibility. You must be aware of and apply safe riding practices and be alert at all times. Here are four tips to help keep you safe while enjoying your ride:
1. Get Accustomed To Your Ride
Whenever you get a new motorcycle, take some time to familiarize yourself with the body and how it operates before you take it out on major roads. Aside from minimizing your injuries in case of accidents, this also keeps other motorists safe. Try out your new motorbike a few times in controlled areas with less traffic, such as inside private communities or on abandoned tracks. Make sure you are able to test it in different conditions, like during heavy rainfall or with strong winds, as well as road hazards like slippery pavements, potholes on the streets, and road debris. Likewise, do a test run before carrying a passenger for a long trip.
2. Do A Routine Check Before Every Use
Even if you are sure your motorcycle is still in good condition, do not skip routine checks before heading out. This should not take long and would not hinder you from your itinerary, plus it could possibly save your life in case of a major accident. Inspect the tire pressure, tread depth, hand and foot brakes, signal indicators, headlights, and fluid levels. Check under the motorcycle and look for signs of leaks from oil or gas. If you are bringing bulky items with you, make sure they are tied securely and the load is well-balanced. The suspension and tire pressure must also be adjusted to match the added weight.
3. Use Complete Safety Gears
Admittedly, motorcycle riding gears are not exactly cheap, so it will cost you extra to have a complete set ready. However, your life and your safety are priceless, so a little investment to keep yourself protected should not stop you from buying these items. Of course, the gear depends on where you are going and the riding conditions during that time. For city riding, a quick ride just a few minutes away from your place would need a full-face helmet, jacket, and proper footwear, while a long trip would also merit the use of riding jeans and gloves. Make sure that the helmet you use meets the standards set by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 and that your footwear is high enough to cover your ankles. When riding at night, clothes with reflective material will improve your visibility to the other motorists around you.
4. Make Sure You Are In The Right Condition For A Ride
Do not attempt to ride if you are not feeling well or are not fully alert and mentally present. This means that if you are sick, distracted, worried, sleepy, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or any similar conditions, you should stay away from your motorbike at all costs. In case you need to be somewhere right away, get a friend to send you there or hire a driver instead. While driving, use the Search-Evaluate-Execute strategy (SEE) in order to properly evaluate the road conditions and adjust your riding in response to current hazards so you can react quickly in case of an emergency. Allow enough space and time for yourself to escape from possible riding traps and give the same courtesy to other motorists so they can respond appropriately in any situation. Make sure that you are visible in your lane, always use signals for turns or lane changes, and keep an eye on vehicles that may cross your path, particularly in intersections.