There are so many reasons to drive a motorcycle. They have long been an icon for fun and freedom. Motorcycles are well known for being a low cost vehicle and very ecologically friendly. Despite all the benefits to motorcycles there are some serious aspects of motorcycle ownership to consider before purchasing one. One of the top concerns that come along with motorcycle ownership is safety on the road. Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants in a motor vehicle crash. In this article we will discuss some of the things auto and motorcyclists should be aware of when on the road.
Motorcycle safety should be at the forefront of any bike owner's mind. Motorcycle crashes continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. Many may not know that riding a motorcycle takes a different set of skills than driving a car. However, consistent education and a regard for traffic laws go a long way when it comes to reducing accidents. Here are some ways you can keep yourself and others safe on the road.
Always Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet is a must when driving or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle or any type of motorized vehicle. Helmets are the only way to protect yourself against severe head injuries. Motorcyclists not wearing a helmet are five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury. When looking for a helmet make sure to buy a DOT compliant helmet with eye protection.
Get Road Ready
Driving a car and riding a motorcycle require a totally different set of skills and knowledge. Although each state has different regulations for motorcycles, each requires a motorcycle operator's license to ride a motorcycle. The motorcycle licensing written and road test differ from the one given to operate an automobile. Additionally, completing a motorcycle rider education course is a great way to ensure you have the correct instruction and experience it takes to ride a motorcycle.
Practice Operating Your Motorcycle
Motorcycles are known to vary in the way they handle and their level of responsiveness just like cars handle differently. Make sure to take the time to get adjusted to your motorcycle by riding in a safe and controlled manner. Once you feel comfortable with handling a motorcycle work your way up to driving in areas with heavier traffic. Be sure to take extra precautions and care when riding your motorcycle in inclement weather or when encountering other hazards such as slick roads, potholes, or road debris.
Before You Ride
Make sure to check over all the important aspects of your motorcycle before riding. Check the tire pressure, tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights, signal indicators, and fluid levels before you ride. Also, check under your motorcycle to make sure there are not oil or gas leaks. If you are carrying cargo make sure to secure and balance the load on your motorcycle. If you are carrying a passenger, make sure they mount the motorcycle only after the motor has started.
Experienced riders know and respect the local traffic laws and don’t take risks. Make sure to obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markers. Make sure not to follow to close behind other vehicles or ride too closely to other bikes. Always signal before changing lanes.
We hope this article has given you some information on how to stay safe on the road as a motorcyclist or as a driver sharing the road with motorcycles. If you have any questions about motorcycle safety or your coverage give us a call at (423) 296-0626.