No one can deny that motorcycles can be dangerous. Motorcycles can be tougher to control than cars and other vehicles, and they’re not as easy to use in particularly bad weather. These things are no problem for expert riders, but some factors are a problem for everyone — such as carelessness and recklessness on the part of the other drivers on the road. Drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs can be a real peril for motorcyclists.
Motorcycle accidents can be serious, but there’s a lot that you can do to avoid them and to mitigate the damage done if you are involved in one. Here are a few things that all motorcyclists should know about staying safe while they are out riding.
Your motorcycle needs help to keep you safe
A safe motorcycle is one that works as it should. It’s a bike that will respond properly to your touch and direction. It’s a reliable, high-performance machine.
But your motorcycle won’t be any of these things unless you take the time to invest in its care. You need to be proactive about its maintenance and vigilant about any repair needs. Team up with a trusted motorcycle mechanic and lay out a motorcycle maintenance schedule that will keep your bike in pristine shape. That’s essential to what it takes to get a bike that will keep you safe on the road.
Dress for success
A successful ride is a fun ride — and a safe ride. So when you get ready for your next ride, make sure that you’re wearing the gear that you should.
That means a tough helmet, of course. Helmets are proven to be incredibly effective in reducing death and serious injury in all sorts of situations, including motorcycle crashes.
It also means getting a tough motorcycle jacket, motorcycle gloves that fit you like a second skin, and great-looking motorcycle boots that will protect your feet and ankles.
You can and should do a number of things to prevent a crash, but you should also make sure that you’re always ready for the worst. Never get on a bike without your full set of safety gear.
Take care on the roads
Like it or not, motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the road than are drivers of cars and SUVs. The very thing that gives you 360-degree views of the world when you ride is what makes your ride more dangerous. There’s no roll cage or other protective layer around you other than the gear that you wear. And because you are less protected than drivers of cars and other vehicles, you should be proportionately more careful.
Motorcyclists need to practice defensive riding. Don’t trust the other drivers on the road to accomodate you or even to see you. Drivers of other vehicles are, unfortunately, notoriously bad about watching for motorcyclists and driving safely around them. Be twice as safe to make up for that. That means you need to keep your distance, assume nothing about the behavior of other drivers, and follow all traffic laws.
You should also know when not to ride. Discretion is key when you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, so don’t push your luck by riding in bad conditions. Pull over under an overpass or bridge when you’re caught out in bad weather, and don’t start trips when weather conditions are less than ideal or are threatening to become much worse.
Motorcyclists can be dangerous, but smart riders know how to keep themselves as safe as possible while still enjoying all of the things that make motorcycle riding such a joy.