Riding a motorcycle is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the open road. There is a sense of freedom and adventure when exploring on your motorcycle. But these rides come with a risk, and it’s each rider’s responsibility to take precautions to keep themselves safe on the road. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while enjoying the thrill of your next ride.
What is Defensive Riding?
Defensive riding is a concept that encompasses being aware of your surroundings, anticipating hazards, and reacting to avoid a collision. You’ll need to look for hazards such as potholes and bumps in the road. Be aware of cars and trucks around you, while anticipating their next move. Be ready to maneuver quickly and safely to avoid hazards. Many common causes of motorcycle accidents are caused by driver negligence and road-related hazards.
Wear the Right Protective Gear
Before heading on your ride, be sure to wear the appropriate protective gear. Your helmet is the most important piece of protection you will wear, protecting your brain from trauma. A full-face helmet or eye wear will also protect your eyes and face from road debris. You should wear a protective jacket and pants that includes reflective or light colors to increase your visibility to other motorists. Heavy duty, over the ankle riding boots will protect your feet and ankles in case of a fall or collision.
Avoid Distracted Driving or Impaired Driving
Distracted driving is a top cause of motor vehicle accidents. Never use your phone or other device while riding. Never ride after consuming alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving can lead to accidents that cause injury or death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents are more likely than car accidents to be caused by operators under the influence of alcohol.
Watch your Speed
Speed is also a factor in many car and motorcycle collisions. Obey all posted speed limits and traffic regulations when riding. Adjust your speed during inclement weather as necessary.
Be Cautious When Lane Changing
When changing lanes on your bike, ensure you have enough space to complete such a maneuver. Always give vehicles in front of you ample time and distance to ensure room in case of they stop suddenly. Assume that other drivers cannot see you when you are changing lanes and remember to signal, check your mirrors, and look over your shoulder before changing lanes.
Stay Visible While Riding
Remember that motorcycles typically have a narrower profile than cars and trucks. Do not ride in a car’s blind spots and be aware of turning vehicles. Left-turn accidents are common causes of injury to motorcyclists. Check that your headlights and taillights are in proper working condition before you start traveling. Vehicles at a distance might not see well enough to avoid accidents.
All riders need to take precautions when they are on the road. Be aware of weather and road conditions affecting the riding experience. These precautions will help riders improve their safety and avoid dangerous collisions. Motorcycling is an enjoyable way to explore, stay safe and enjoy the ride!