There is no denying that riding a motorcycle is an adventurous experience, but it can prove to be dangerous as well if enough safety measures are not taken. The U.S. Department of Transportation researched in 2016 that motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to die in a traffic accident as compared to people sitting in a car.
When it comes to safety, cars and other 4-wheeled vehicles have a definite edge over the motorcycles. The two wheels make it challenging to balance the vehicle on uneven roads and rough terrains. As you enjoy the adrenaline rush while riding a motorcycle, don’t forget to observe the following tips to stay safe at all times.
Carry Out Thorough Inspection Before Each Trip
Even if your motorcycle is brand new, you cannot skip inspecting it before taking any trip. This is one of the basic tips for riding a motorcycle and can result in unimaginable risks if skipped. You must check the brakes, mirrors, engine condition, and any loose parts or bolts before heading out. If you are unsure of your judgment, let an expert carry out the task so that you can safely take off on the road.
Check the Weather Conditions
This has to be one of the most important aspects of planning your motorcycle ride, especially if you are aiming for a long route. You must be proactive enough to check the weather forecast for every place you are going to pass through to reach your destination. Also, check if there are sufficient motels where one can stop if there’s an unexpected rain shower. Your best attempt should be to avoid traveling because of the lack of visibility and slippery roads caused due to rain.
Always Wear Proper Motorcycle Gear
Before you hit the road, ensure that you are dressed in proper gear. The foremost rule is to cover yourself completely and not wear shorts or slippers. To ride a motorcycle, you must have a reinforced jacket, leather or denim trousers, knee and elbow pads, gloves, safety eyeglasses, and helmet. A variety of safety gear is available depending on your distinct riding needs and the kind of route you are about to take.
Never Disobey Traffic Rules
One of the major causes of accidents is that people are unable to follow the traffic rules and cause trouble for themselves and others on the road. You must be aware of all the traffic regulations whether you are driving on a highway or within the city premises. It is your responsibility to religiously follow the rules and educate others about them as well.
Take the Most Bike-Friendly Route
Bumps and potholes are dangerous when riding a 2-wheels vehicle as they may disturb your balance. Always choose such a route where there’s no sand, oil, or gravel so that you can enjoy a smooth ride on the road. If you are on an unfamiliar road, your concentration level should be higher to avoid any unexpected bumps. If there are railroad tracks, you should cross them at an appropriate angle.
Maintain a Safe Speed
There’s a reason that speed limits exist, and every road has a distinct limit. You must observe the limit to avoid any kind of unpleasant incident, and have enough common sense to make a wise judgment. Even if the road appears to be clear of all the vehicles, never overestimate your ability to control an over-speeding motorcycle. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety revealed that in 2009, 48% of motorcyclist deaths were caused by over-speeding.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Each and every second of riding a motorcycle requires you to be cautious and avoid all sorts of distractions. It is quite easy to get distracted and if you really find something worth your attention, just stop for the view. Never look anywhere else other than the road ahead of you as losing your focus for even a split second can cause a motorcycle accident injury. Don’t ever think of taking your hands off as the vehicle may get out of control.
Keep a Safe Distance with other Vehicles
Never forget to use the turn signals to let others know on the road of your next move. Ensuring a safe distance is essential for the well-being of everyone so avoid tailgating. It is recommended to stay at least 4 seconds away from the vehicle in front of you so one can safely apply the brakes if needed.
Ensure that You’re Visible to Other Drivers
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration published a report in 1981 saying that 75% of accidents occurred because other drivers could not see the motorcycle. To stay visible, one must wear bright clothing, keep the headlights on, and use turn signals whenever changing the course of direction.
Never Use Your Cellphone
Despite how urgent it is you must never risk yours or anyone else’s life by using your cellphone while riding a motorcycle. Wait until you can pull over and then tend to any call or message that requires you to respond at the soonest. A minute act of carelessness can pose a serious threat to someone’s life. Enough measures have been taken by the law enforcement department to create public awareness and to impose heavy fines on individuals not abiding by the laws.
Apart from taking all the precautionary measures, you should also feel good while riding. Do not consider riding if you are sad, stressed out, angry, or even drowsy. Following the above-mentioned safety tips, beginners, as well as professionals, can avoid any kind of motorcycle accident injury.
Even if you are not comfortable in following some of the tips, consider them to be mandatory for your own well-being. While being on the road, using your common sense is as important as abiding by all the safety tips. Polish your skills by enrolling yourself in an advanced riding course where you can learn control tips, braking techniques, and collision avoidance maneuvers.