While motorcycles are a lot of fun to ride, they also come with an increase in risk. In fact, according to these San Diego motorcycle accident lawyers, “studies show that motorcyclists are four times more at risk for fatal injuries compared to drivers of trucks, SUVs, and automobiles.” Therefore, it’s important that you take some extra precautions if you’re going to be getting on a motorcycle. Here are some tips you can use:
Wear the Proper Gear
To start, you should make sure you have the right gear. The most important piece is the helmet. Many states will require that all motorcycle riders have a helmet on, but even if yours doesn’t, you should still wear one. Wearing a helmet can save your life if you get into an accident and you should never be on a bike without one. It’s also important that you regularly check the condition of your helmet and make sure there are no issues. This guide can help you get a new helmet if you need one.
Beyond that, you’ll want some clothing that can protect you against the elements and in case of an accident. Some good riding gloves will keep your hands warm and a sturdy jacket will protect your skin if you end up in a slide. A few small wardrobe changes could prevent you from suffering serious injuries, so update your gear before you get on a bike again.
Follow the Rules of the Road
When you’re on a motorcycle, it’s tempting to bend the rules of the road a little bit. Maybe you feel like going faster than the speed limit, or cruising through a stop sign, or weaving through traffic. However, these rules are there for a reason and it’s even more important for motorcycle riders to follow them. Doing so will not only keep you safe but everyone else around you. It may take you a few minutes longer to get somewhere, but this is much better than the alternative.
Don’t Take Chances
Along these same lines, it’s important that you drive safely and don’t take chances when you’re on your bike. For example, maybe you have to merge onto a highway when the traffic is moving quickly. If you take this chance in a car and it doesn’t work out, you could end up with a bad dent in your fender. But for motorcycle riders, this could mean a serious injury. Motorcycle riders need to play it more cautious, as a small risk for car drivers is a big risk for motorcycle riders.
Avoid Bad Weather
When bad weather hits and you’re in a car, you can just turn on your wipers. This isn’t the case for motorcycle riders. It’s important that all riders check the weather before they get on their bikes and ensure there isn’t anything bad heading their way. Luckily, this is easier than ever before with weather apps right at our fingertips. If you see any bad weather on the horizon, find a place to wait it out and save your ride for another day. Slipping on the road or having reduced visibility isn’t worth it.
Objectively Assess Your Condition
Sometimes the danger of a motorcycle comes not from the road conditions or the other drivers, but from yourself. Before you get on a bike, you should always check in with yourself to make sure you are okay to ride. Have you had a few drinks with dinner? Did you not get much sleep the night before? Did you forget to wear your contacts? If there’s anything that could impair your ability to ride, even a little, you should avoid getting on the bike. Wait until the condition is gone, or have a friend come pick you up. Be honest with yourself and make sure you are actually fit to ride.
Go with a Group
Finally, if you can, ride with others. There is safety in numbers, and this is especially true for motorcycle riders. As a group, you will make more noise, which will alert other drivers to your presence. In addition, if something bad were to happen while you’re on the road, you’ll have people nearby who can help you out. If you know anyone else with a bike, ask them to ride with you. If not, look for motorcycle groups in your area that you can join.
Make Safety a Priority
A fun day on your motorcycle is quickly ruined if you end up injured or damaging your bike. But by taking a few simple precautions before you go and while you drive, you can make this less likely to happen. So, the next time you’re looking to ride, keep the above tips in mind and hopefully you’ll be able to keep yourself safe.