Are you planning on getting a new motorcycle soon? The most important thing that you should bear in mind is that driving a motorcycle requires different skills than those needed to drive a regular-sized car. However, the road rules are universal, and they apply to each driver just the same. This means that you should take extra safety measures to reduce the chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident, which often leads to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Read on to learn some safety tips that you should always keep in mind when riding a motorcycle.
Get Appropriate Safety Gear
When you intend to buy a new motorcycle, you must know that safety comes first. Therefore, you must also acquire the right gear to protect yourself against severe injuries. For instance, you must get an appropriate helmet to protect your head against injuries. According to studies, people who ride motorcycles without helmets are at greater risk of sustaining critical head injuries should anything happen.
Apart from wearing a helmet, you should also ensure that you wear protective clothing like gloves, boots, and a safety jacket to protect your body against severe injuries. Make sure that you choose boots with nonskid soles. It is essential to attach reflective tape to your clothing to increase your visibility so that other drivers can easily see you.
Invest in Insurance
When you buy a motorcycle, you must get the right insurance policy to protect you in case of an accident. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you are likely to suffer severe injuries. However, in some cases, the accident can be caused by another driver’s recklessness or negligence on the road.
In such a situation, you are entitled to get compensation from the wrongdoer. To get the fair compensation you deserve after an accident, you need to hire a professional attorney. The St. Louis law experts at StLLawHelp.com explain that seasoned lawyers know how to negotiate a better settlement than the one the insurance company will initially offer you if you were injured in an accident. Dealing with insurance companies can be tricky since they are primarily concerned about protecting their business interests. However, experienced lawyers know how to resolve compensation claims involving motorcycle accidents.
Follow Traffic Rules
When riding your motorcycle, you must follow all traffic laws and rules to avoid accidents. Like any other driver on the road, you should obey speed limits and check all traffic signs. It is also vital to ride defensively and avoid a situation where you assume that other road users can see you. The other thing that you should always remember is to ride with your headlights on. This will increase your visibility to avoid crashes with other motorists. Before turning, you need to check all sides and only do so when it is safe. More importantly, you should keep a safe distance to help you react appropriately in case of an emergency. Tailgating is not safe since it can lead to crashes.
Carry a First-aid Kit
It is critical to keep a basic first-aid kit on your motorcycle in case of an injury. Make sure that your kit includes bandages, adhesive tape, gauze, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and other necessary medications. If you are not seriously injured, you can apply first-aid, then visit the doctor later for further medical examination.
Take a Safety Riding Course
You must take a safety riding course to sharpen your riding skills that will help you to avoid collisions. Constant riding practice also helps you to master control tips together with braking techniques that will not expose you to danger. Riding a motorcycle requires good judgment, and you need to learn different actions that you may take in case of unpredictable situations. More importantly, you must avoid riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Preparing to Ride
You must ensure that your motorcycle is suitable for the road before you ride. You need to check the tires, look for signs of leakages and make sure that all the lights and signals are in good working condition. You should also check the level of all fluids including coolants. Once you have mounted your motorcycle and are ready to go, check your clutch and throttle to make sure that they are working well. You also need to ensure that the mirrors are clean and test the front and rear brakes. Your horn should also be in good working order.
Take a safety course
You may learn motorcycle-specific traffic laws in a safety course. You will also learn how to react appropriately in possibly unexpected riding situations. Safety training can assist you in developing the ability and good judgment needed to operate a motorbike.
Check the weather before heading out
Snow, ice, or rain might make your ride more difficult. Since you have less traction than a car and less visibility in these circumstances, riding a motorcycle is dangerous. If bad weather is predicted, pick an alternative day.
Inspect your motorcycle before each ride
It is a good idea to examine your bike to make sure it is as secure as possible before you ride. Examine your brakes, gasoline, oil, tire pressure, mirrors, handlebars, turn signals, taillights, headlights, and horns.
Ride Within Your Skills
The ability to ride a motorbike is a talent that must be developed, just like any other skill. Although it would be okay to enjoy a leisurely ride about town, it takes time to develop the riding abilities you will need to be an expert. Always bike within your ability level to keep yourself safe. You should not try to go as quickly as your friends who have been riding for a longer period of time, weave through traffic, or manage your bike on winding roads. Spend time honing your abilities and limit your riding to settings where you are confident in your abilities.
Protect Your Feet
Proper footwear is essential for safe riding. Open-toed shoes can quickly become unpleasant since you lift up with your toes to change gears on a bike. Additionally, when riding a bike, you sit directly on the hot engine and exhaust system. You may easily burn your feet. When riding a bike, open-toed footwear like flip-flops expose your feet and run the risk of falling off, which is unsafe.
Be observant and watch for road hazards
When you drive attentively, you can foresee roadblocks and other hazards. You might lose traction when driving through sand, grease, or gravel. Both bumps and potholes should be avoided since they are both harmful. Train tracks should be crossed at the proper angle.
Stay at a safe distance
It is dangerous to tailgate. You should leave at least four seconds between your car and the one in front of you. This will enable you to halt in an emergency. It is a good idea to plan an escape route in case you cannot stop in time, like going to the shoulder.
Wear a Helmet
It is also against the law! But wearing a helmet is the most crucial thing you can do to keep safe when riding a motorbike. The primary cause of fatality for motorcycle riders is head injuries.
Additionally, you must ensure that you are donning the proper helmet. Sadly, many stores offer cheap helmets that look nice but do not actually protect you. Always purchase a helmet that has been tested and meets a minimal level of safety requirements and is certified by the Department of Transportation.
Additionally, check the fit of your helmet. There is no such thing as too tight or too loose. It should cover the majority of your head, but it shouldn’t restrict your view. Choose a full-face helmet with protection all the way around for extra protection.
Look for bikes. This advice is more for drivers than for motorcyclists, but it is so critical that it deserves to be mentioned here. Motorcycles are discreet and hard to spot. Due to the fact that many motorists fail to see them, crashes frequently result in the death of the motorbike rider.
Keep an ear and an eye out for motorbikes. Many motorcycles feature noisy exhaust systems that are designed to catch the attention of drivers. Take advantage of that. However, you must continue to watch out for silent motorcycles. Check your blind area frequently and before changing lanes. It could have a bike. Also, keep an eye out for motorbikes before you enter the road. Although they are more difficult to see than automobiles, spending a moment to look might save a life.
Educate Your Passengers
Having a passenger on the back of your bike is entertaining in and of itself. It may be rather romantic to have a passenger’s arms around you while you drive along a country road. But in order to keep you both safe, your passenger has a role to perform.
Make sure everyone you transport on your bike is equipped appropriately. They should dress in protective clothing and sturdy shoes as you do. In a secure area, such as a parking lot, you should also practice driving with a passenger, especially if they are larger than you. By doing so, you will become accustomed to the additional weight on the bike as well as how the passenger must move beside you while you perform various moves. To prevent terror, make sure your passenger understands how turning and stopping on a bike feel and knows not to divert your attention. Check the legislation in your state if you are carrying a small child. You must be at least a specific age to ride a motorcycle’s back in several states.
Leave Enough Space
Not giving enough stopping distance for bikers is one of the major blunders both drivers and motorcycle riders make. Bikes need more room than you may imagine to stop and navigate, despite the fact that they are lighter and smaller than vehicles.
Many motorcycles still don’t have anti-lock brakes, and older ones don’t have them either. Therefore, unlike a motorist, a rider cannot just slam on the brakes. They would experience wheel locking, loss of control, drop the bike, and an asphalt slide. Practice stopping your bike in a secure setting, so you are aware of how much room you require. Make sure to allow yourself that much room in traffic after that. Maintain a healthy following distance between your motorcycle and the car in front of you and attempt to have a side escape route available in case you need to stop suddenly (for example, onto the road shoulder).
Distracted riding a bike is far more dangerous than distracted driving, as we all know. Being always alert to what is going on around you is one of the keys to riding a motorbike safely. Keep in mind that bikes are difficult for drivers to see, particularly those in large vehicles or SUVs. Instead of hoping that they would not notice you, you must see them and avoid them. Your response time is reduced by several valuable seconds if you are fumbling with your phone or iPod, increasing your chance of colliding with something. And hitting a Chevy Suburban while traveling at 60 mph (96.6 kph) is hardly anyone’s idea of a good time.
Taking your hands off your bike increases the danger of distraction and reduces your control more than taking your hands off the steering wheel of a car. Braking, accelerating, and shifting are also impaired in addition to steering. Simply said, it is a horrible idea.
Remove any potential for distraction if you are riding a bike. Avoid using headphones and place your phone out of reach.
Riding a motorcycle is an exciting experience, but the sad reality is that motorcycles can be very dangerous. Therefore, you always need to take proper safety precautions on the road. This includes wearing the right gear that can protect you against injuries if you are involved in an accident, taking a riding course before you hit the road, and always following the road rules and laws.