Riding a bike can be an exciting experience. With an open sky above you, wind in your hair, and sun on your face, motorcycling gives an exhilarating sense of freedom. But just like with every other fun activity, precaution should come first.
Motorcycle riding can be dangerous if you are not cautious. It’s not as safe as driving a car, since there’s no exterior frame to protect you in case of an accident, no seat belt. Bikes aren’t stable either: With only two wheels to balance on, you are sure to fall this way or that. Bikers are the most prone to accidents, collisions, and road injuries.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that the chances of motorcyclists losing their lives in an accident are 28 times higher than those driving cars. In 2019, a total of 84,000 people got injured in motorcycle crashes.
It is necessary, not only for a newbie rider but a veteran biker as well, to consider motorcycle safety measures.
Here are the five safety tips you can follow to ensure a safer ride.
- Be Attentive:
Be a diligent while riding. Just because you see a car coming doesn’t mean the driver in the car also sees you. Seventy-five percent of motorcycle accidents happen because the other person didn’t see the biker coming.
So, ride with focus, make sure others see you on the road by keeping your headlights on and staying out of the driver’s blind spots, and, most importantly, turn on the indicating signals before making a turn.
Be attentive to and aware of your surroundings. About two-thirds of accidents involving bikes happen because the other driver violates the motorcyclist’s right of way. Most of the time, bikers get into accidents due to other people’s negligence, and then they get blamed for it, instead. The odds of the law are stacked unfairly against the bikers.
You must prepare yourself in advance for such a case if someone sues you for the wrong reasons. Find the best motorcycle accident attorneys in your area. If you live in, say, Denver, Colorado, you can hire any of the motorcycle accident attorneys at Rider Justice that will ensure you get justice and win your case.
- Put on Your Biker Wear:
Riders often ignore putting on the right clothes for a ride on the motorcycle. Ignoring this crucial tip can lead to serious consequences. It’s crucial to wear proper clothing for the sake of your safety. If you don’t have authentic biker wear, then it is recommended you wear long pants, a long-sleeved jacket or shirt, and shoes with socks.
No matter how hot the weather outside, remember, a slip on a bike can be dangerous, even fatal. In winters, you can opt for leather boots and leather clothing that will give you better protection.
Your clothing must be breathable and protective. Also, wearing bright colors and reflective colored clothes will make you more visible.
Wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation or DOT. If a helmet is not covering the face entirely, then you can wear goggles too. Wear gloves for better grip.
- Stay Within Your Safety Zone:
You need to consider your comfort zone on every step; from buying a motorcycle to when it’s on the road. This means getting a bike that is not too heavy for you; otherwise, you will be unable to handle and balance it.
When choosing a bike, make sure your feet can rest flat on the ground, not on the balls of your feet, when you’re seated; otherwise, that motorcycle isn’t the right one for you.
Your feet must easily reach the pedals. It must be easy for you to get on and off the bike. Make sure you can easily reach all the different controls on both the handlebars.
Similarly, when riding, take the usual route that you are familiar with. Because you can easily navigate a familiar path and not worry about missing a turn, instead you can focus on the ride.
Also, if you are riding in a group, don’t try to speed up to match their speed. Ride at the speed that you can handle.
- Motorcycle Maintenance:
For your own safety, keep the bike functioning properly. It’s of utmost importance to keep up with your bike’s maintenance.
Regularly check your bike’s tires, brakes, signals, and the engine. Make a habit of checking both tires before you hit the road. If you see even minor signs of wear and tear, change tires instead of taking the risk. In case of a flat tire in the middle of the road, you will lose control of your bike easily.
The headlights, signals, and taillights of your bike are lifesavers on the road and you can use them to indicate your presence and driving intentions, like taking turns etc.
Make sure these aren’t broken. They must always be in good shape and working properly.
Similarly, an oil or gas leak in your engine can put you in a dangerous situation on the road. Get your engine tuned up every year or so. Also, ensure that hydraulic fluids and coolants are at full levels.
- First-Aid Kit and Tool Pouch:
Since, bikes don’t have as much storage space as cars do, the majority of riders neglect to carry a first-aid kit or a tool pouch. But in terms of safety, these are prerequisites.
You can easily find small-sized first-aid kits and tool pouches that you can put under the bike’s seat. There are several small-sized wrenches available that work for most bikes. Add screwdrivers to your tool pouch, too.
Make a basic first-aid kit putting in it Band-Aids, disinfecting wipes, adhesive tape, hand sanitizer, and bandages.
In case of damage to your bike, the tools will come in handy. And in case of an accident, the first-aid kit will be helpful for you and also others.
Riding a bike is exciting, but it can turn dangerous quickly if you are not careful. As a rider, your and others’ safety must be your primary concern. Follow the five tips mentioned above to stay safe on the road with your motorcycle.