This may not seem like a lot, but there are over 126 million households in the United States. If you think about it, that’s a whole lot of motorcycles on the road. That number will most likely continue to rise.
If you own a motorcycle, you know there are many safety tips to follow. Motorcycle accidents are far too common and can result in serious injuries.
To discover and freshen up on some tips, make sure to keep reading below for riding tips. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
1. Keep an Eye on Weather
When driving a motorcycle, you want a good amount of traction on the road. There’s far less traction during rain so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for the weather.
Download an accurate weather app on your phone and always keep an eye on the radar. Watching the radar is especially important when planning longer trips. You don’t want to ride out in the sun and have to ride back in a storm.
It’s also important to know that when the road is wet, oil residue rises to the top. Watch out for any slick parts of the road.
If you are caught in the rain, see if there are any covered spaces you can seek shelter at. If not, make sure to put more distance between you and the cars around you. You can also ride in the tire tracks on the road left by the car in front of you.
2. Wear the Right Gear
It shouldn’t take a motorcycle accident expert to know you should always be wearing the right gear, especially a helmet.
When picking out a helmet, look for one that is DOT certified. This means the helmet was approved by the Department of Transportation. For extra protection, wear a full-face helmet.
Another piece of important gear is a jacket. This may seem silly in hot states like Florida, but it’ll keep you safe. Make sure the jacket is storm-proof, contains armor, and fits snugly.
Gloves will help protect your hands from any large debris or bugs that are in the air. They also help avoid rashes and sunburn and allow a better grip.
Whatever gear you go with, make sure all of it is visible. Black looks cool, but it can be hard to see at night. Buy gear that has bright or reflective pieces.
3. Assume They Don’t See You
While some cars do look for motorcycles, one of the best motorcycle safety tips is to assume they don’t see you. Always practice defensive driving on the road.
Never ride in the blind spot of a car around you, and always proceed with caution at intersections. Many drivers don’t actively anticipate the movements of motorcycles around them.
When stopping at an intersection or stop sign, leave room for escape if the driver behind you comes in too fast. You always want to have an option to get out of the way.
4. Never Drive Drunk
Drinking and driving is something you should never do, especially on a motorcycle. Because of the increased risks even while driving a motorcycle sober, intoxication only increases your risk of accident, injury, and even death.
If you’ve had a couple of drinks, find a ride home from a sober friend or family member. You can even use services like Uber or Lyft. It’s better to spend the extra money on a ride home than time in jail.
Don’t take your motorcycle out if you do anticipate drinking. Even if it’s just grabbing a single beer with friends at a restaurant, don’t break out the helmet.
5. Trust Who You Ride With
Just because you’re great at driving a motorcycle doesn’t mean your friends are good at it too. Always make sure the people you’re riding with understand all safety laws and tips.
Never ride in a group if you know one of the members is tired, intoxicated, or reckless. Their mistake could become your motorcycle accident.
If you do notice reckless driving in your group, hold the driver accountable. Explain why their actions can be harmful to themselves and those on the road.
6. Constantly Educate Yourself
Drivers should always start out with a formal education course and earning a motorcycle license. Unfortunately, many people stop educating themselves after their initial course.
Sign up for riding courses every year or so to always keep your skills in top shape! You may even learn things you didn’t learn previously. Encourage your friends who own motorcycles to go with you.
7. Never Drive Tired
You probably love taking your motorcycle to work. However, if you didn’t get much sleep the night before or anticipate a tiring day ahead of you, it’s probably best you don’t take it to work.
Your reflexes are much slower and you’re easily distracted when you’re tired. Always ride with alertness and a full tank of energy.
8. Look Where You Want to Go
When driving a motorcycle, it can be easy to become fixated on one object, such as an approaching curb. Make a conscious effort to always be looking where you want to go and scan the horizon.
Keep your head up and only make slight shifts with it when needed. Driving with your head up and scanning the horizon also makes you a more defensive and confident driver.
Riding Tips for Driving a Motorcycle
Owning a motorcycle can feel liberating, but it does come with a great amount of responsibility. Make sure you freshen up on the above riding tips before you grab your helmet and hit the road. Share these tips with your friends to keep them accountable as well.
Make sure you always have the proper gear and that it’s easily seen by everyone around you. Practice defensive driving, and always assume people don’t anticipate your moves. Never be afraid to sign up for more riding courses and encourage your friends to go with you.
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