It can be more dangerous to ride a motorcycle than a car or truck you’d regularly see on the road. However, the stats on the danger are startling and there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk. The four things below are just a few of the precautions you can take to help minimize the risks you take, improving motorcycle safety.
Wear Proper Gear
Proper motorcycle riding gear includes a helmet, which should be rated high enough to meet the requirements for the location in which you live. However, you can always get one rated higher, which is always recommended. You should also have face protection, which can include a face shield on your helmet. If your helmet doesn’t have one, eye goggles and a piece of fabric or a wrap specifically designed to cover the lower part of the face is recommended. Your clothing should cover your arms and legs completely and leather outer gear is most helpful.
Follow Traffic Rules
While it is important to follow all traffic rules no matter what vehicle you are driving, whether on four wheels or two, it is more important when riding a motorcycle. You can take classes specifically designed to help you drive defensively so you are able to avoid situations that may arise when riding. If you are in a tight spot and need to get around it, stop quickly, or maneuver in a way that is unusual, a defensive motorcycle riding course is recommended. It will also teach you how to be more observant of the drivers around you.
Check Your Motorcycle
Before you even take off for a ride, you need to make sure your motorcycle is up for it, and a walkthrough of various checks is in order. You should always check your tires for wear and tear, cracking, bald spots, and anything else out of the norm. Check for leaks, make sure all lights and signals are working properly, and make sure all fluids are at the right levels. Your clutch and throttle should be working correctly and smoothly and if your mirrors need to be adjusted, you should do it now, before you take off for a ride. Check your brakes on a slow stop before you head off to your destination.
Avoid Certain Situations
It is important not to ride in certain situations that could be dangerous and result in a very dangerous crash that could end up being fatal. Of course, just like driving a car or truck, you want to avoid riding when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you want to be well-rested as well. Rain and wind can affect motorcycle performance, as rain makes the roads slick allowing you to hydroplane and wind can push you around the road where you shouldn’t be. Take precautions to only drive in safe conditions and always be aware of conditions that may be changing, such as incoming weather, that you may have to ride back home in.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the odds of a motorcyclist experiencing a fatal crash is 35 greater than someone in a 4-wheeled vehicle. With odds like this, it is important to make sure you and your family know how to protect yourselves if a motorcycle crash, fatal or not, should happen.