With spring on the way and already here in most states, it’s time to break out your hog and hit the open road again. Unfortunately, it also means that motorcycle accidents will be on the rise. While the percentages have gone down in recent years, riders still make up an alarming number of fatalities in the U.S. Here are 10 important safety tips to help keep you and your fellow riders safe.
1. Wear Your Helmet
It isn’t every rider’s cup of tea and not every state requires it, but statistics show how even a partial helmet can save your life in the event of an accident. In most fatalities, the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet and suffered severe head injuries.
2. Shoes Matter
Believe it or not, some people like riding in flip flops. Motorcyclists need to protect their feet from debris that could cut their skin, not to mention have enough traction when touching down on the ground. Boots are, as always, highly advised.
3. Gear Matters
In an accident, it’s likely that your body is going to slide across the pavement. That’s why shorts and even jeans don’t cut it. You need to wear protective gear designed to protect against impact and sliding if you want to be as safe as possible.
4. Keep Your Distance
A large number of accidents occur because bikers are following each other or other drivers too closely. Giving yourself distance allows you to be a defensive driver, anticipating issues as they arise. When riding in a group, it also keeps other riders safe if one goes down.
5. Get Rid of the Distractions
Don’t text, eat, drink, or take part in any other action that takes your attention away from the road. Even with the best motorcycle accident lawyer, you’ll have a tough time avoiding liability if you were riding distracted.
6. Watch the Weather
This should go without saying, but don’t ride in slippery or wet conditions. Rain, snow, and even high winds can put you on the fast track to the emergency room. Play it safe and plan your rides ahead according to the weekly forecast.
7. Always Look Twice
Unfortunately, cars aren’t always looking out for motorcyclists. They’re usually busy looking for other cars. That’s why it’s vital that you look twice before changing lanes or turning. This is another aspectof defensive driving that can save your life.
8. Don’t Assume You’re Visible
You could have your headlights on and engine revving, but that doesn’t mean a car knows where you are. Just like in tip above, be extra cautious about drivers. Try to stay out of their blind spots and make eye contact when you can to remind them you’re on the road too.
9. Don’t Be A Showoff
Obey your local traffic laws if you want to stay safe. You don’t need to be a speed demon, pop a wheelie, or try some other sort of fancy trick. For your own and everyone else’s sake, just ride.
10. Take a Safety Course
If you’ve never taken a safety course, you might want to consider one. These classes can teach you nifty tricks to keep you safe in surprise scenarios, like unexpected debris mid-turn. They’ll also help you navigate other drivers with useful tips on remaining visible and anticipating car’s movements.