Motorcycle Safety Tips Every Rider Should Know
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Riding a motorcycle is an adrenaline rush. Motorcyclists are drawn to the freedom and excitement that comes with becoming one with an agile machine. In addition to the thrill, there’s also a tight-knit motorcycle community that can turn a biking hobby into a lifestyle.
Motorcycles are also inherently dangerous, though. In fact, they are the deadliest form of transportation on U.S. roadways — and it’s not close. Cars come in second, but motorcyclists are still 27 times more likely to die than passengers in a car crash.
Despite the risk, there are some 13,158,100 bike owners in the U.S. today and this number continues to grow. Here are some motorcycle safety tips for smooth riding.
1. Protect Your Head and Body with Gear
In a motorcycle crash, the number one cause of death is head injury. This means that protecting your head and brain should be top priority. Helmets save lives and reduce the risk of head injury by nearly 70%.
While helmet laws vary state to sate, you should never find yourself on the road without one. Other safety gear is also proven to reduce injury, such as armored motorcycle boots. Here’s a list of protective gear to wear while motorcycling:
- Motorcycle jacket
- Eye protection
- Body armor
2. Be Aware of Your Environment
Unfortunately, other drivers aren’t always looking out for motorcycles as they drive. Stay alert and practice defensive driving to dramatically reduce your risk of crash. Utilize your bike’s mirrors to anticipate sudden moves from other drivers on the road.
The surface you’re riding on also matters. Steer clear of wet or slick roads, and keep an eye out for shiny pavement, gravel, or sand.
3. Ride in Open Areas
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When you’re sitting in traffic, a motorcycle may seem like a great solution for zipping through intersections — but urban areas are where at least 61% of tragic accidents happen. Cars and pedestrians can contribute to crashes and even road detours and buildings can pose risk.
Riding in open areas that are less trafficked will give you ample space to enjoy the road with much less risk. You’ll avoid dangerous blind spots and grid locks while getting fresh air and scenic views.
4. Don’t Bike Under the Influence
Not only is riding a motorcycle under the influence illegal, it is also extremely dangerous. Substances such as drugs or alcohol impair your ability to ride and react, while also endangering other drivers on the road. Injuries occur in 9 of 10 motorcycle crashes involving drugs and alcohol, compared to only 1 in 3 automobile crashes.
If you are a motorcyclist or thinking of joining the biking community, remember that safety precautions should be taken every time you ride. For more about motorcycle safety and bike maintenance, check out this Dolman Law infographic below: