According to estimates, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in crashes per mile than car occupants. This is a chilling statistic. However, there are many ways you can increase your safety out on the roads and reduce the chances of an accident. If you implement savvy, safe riding practices, you’ll become a better rider, and protect yourself from serious accidents. Read on to find out 9 important motorcycle safety tips to remember.
1. Choose the Right Motorcycle
The first safety tip to start with is choosing the right motorcycle for you.
If your bike is too big or too heavy, this will make it more difficult to maneuver. Can your feet comfortably reach the ground when you’re seated? If not, you are far more likely to have your bike topple over and onto you.
Also, is your motorcycle light enough for you to handle on your own? If it’s too heavy for your body weight and muscle strength, this can also increase the chances of stationary accidents.
2. Do Pre-ride Checks
One of the most overlooked measures for preventing accidents is doing pre-ride checks.
Before you take your motorcycle out on the road, make a point to check your:
- Tire pressure
Besides these basic pre-ride checks, don’t procrastinate about things like oil changes, brake pad and tire wear, or chain and suspension adjustments.
3. Always Wear a Helmet
Next up, always, always wear a helmet. This is a very basic safety measure, but one that a lot of bike riders overlook, especially for shorter trips.
If you get into an accident, the last thing you want is zero protection between your head and the tarmac. Simply putting on your helmet can be the deciding factor between a serious, life-altering injury that leaves you in a state of disability or results in death, and injuries that you can recover from relatively swiftly.
Reports show that helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths, and roughly 67% effective at preventing brain injuries. So next time you hop on your bike for a quick trip to the corner store, take those extra couple of minutes to put your helmet on.
4. Stick To Lower Gears in Traffic
Lower gears equal more power at your disposal, which is why you should opt for lower gears when navigating traffic.
Should a car driver suddenly start swerving into your lane, braking doesn’t have to be your only option. Often, the safer route is to accelerate out of harm’s way.
If you are in too high a gear, you won’t have the power for this. By staying in lower gear, you can rest assured that if you need to accelerate suddenly, you can.
Also, the lower revs can help make drivers aware of you in the traffic.
5. Keep a Finger on the Brakes
Another hack for staying safe on a motorcycle is to keep one finger or two fingers on the brake lever, and your toe close to the back brake pedal.
If a car turns in front of you or suddenly slows down, you’ll be able to hit the brakes that much quicker and increase your chances of avoiding a collision.
6. Constantly Scan Your Environment
Staying alert, and keeping your eyes on the road and other drivers is important no matter what vehicle you are driving. However, it’s doubly important if you’re on a motorcycle.
For one thing, motorcycles are harder for other drivers to see. They are also more vulnerable to things like road conditions. Handling a motorcycle also requires sharper reflexes and reaction speed than driving a car.
The more aware you are of potential hazards, the more time you will have to react. Therefore, make it a habit to constantly scan the road, the traffic, and other vehicles.
Also, keep an eye on the body language of other drivers. If someone starts turning without using their indicator light, you might be able to pre-empt this from their body language, their head movements, and their hands on the wheel.
Besides monitoring the traffic and the road, also keep your eyes peeled on what’s happening next to the road. If a child, pedestrian, or animal comes running into the traffic, the sooner you notice this happening the better. Children and animals on the road are one of the most common driving hazards.
7. Assume You’re Invisible
As we said above, motorcycles are harder for car drivers to see. It’s easy to be in someone’s blind spot when you’re on a bike than in a car.
Reports reveal that motorists failing to see motorcycles in traffic is one of the leading causes of accidents.
Therefore, when you’re riding a motorcycle, make it a habit to assume you’re invisible. You never know when you might be in a blindspot.
Acting like you’re permanently in a blind spot is one of the motorcycle safety tips that can prevent a lot of potential accidents and keep you out of tight situations in the traffic.
8. Don’t Drink and Ride, Period
Another of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is alcohol consumption before taking to the road. Stats show that alcohol is involved in almost half of fatal motorcycle accidents.
Abstaining from alcohol before taking to the road is one of the easiest methods for preventing accidents. Therefore, play it safe (and legal) and promise yourself to never drink and ride.
9. Wear Bold Gear
The more visible you are to drivers, the better. Therefore, always opt for the boldest, brightest gear that you can. Yellow leathers are great for visibility and are easy to find at a lot of bike stores.
Apply These Motorcycle Safety Tips to Protect Yourself and Others
As a motorcyclist, you are a lot more vulnerable to injuries than car drivers. Whether you’re still learning how to drive a motorcycle, or have been riding for some time, making these motorcycle safety tips part of your riding habits will help protect both you and others from injury on the road.
That said, no matter how careful you are, accidents can still happen.
Have you been in an accident while riding a motorcycle? If so, one of the first things you should do is seek legal assistance, especially if you have suffered severe injuries.
Here at Sweet Lawyers, motorcycle accidents and injury claims are one of our areas of specialty. We work on a contingency basis, which means we won’t charge you a dime unless we win your case for you.
Contact us today to get the legal help you need.