Riding a motorcycle can be a whole lot of fun, but doing so comes with different risks than those you may experience while driving a car. Not only do you need to have a full grasp of everything you’re doing to make sure your bike stays straight and in control, you have to also keep an eye on everybody else on the road.
A motorcycle is a much smaller object than a car, so oblivious drivers are less likely to see you. Because of this, additional safety measures should always be taken before climbing onto your motorcycle and hitting the road and heading off to wherever you may desire.
Use Your Head
One of the biggest things you can do to keep yourself safe in the event of a wreck is to wear a helmet. Helmets come in a wide variety of styles, ranging from simple helmets which cover the crown of your head to varieties which completely cover and protect your face.
For optimal safety, you’ll want a full-face helmet, something which is going to make sure you don’t lose your nose or teeth to road rash should you get into some sort of accident. Motorcycle Manics has a variety of modular helmets which combine the best of both worlds and are certainly worth a look.
Don Your Armor
There’s a reason bikers wear leather jackets and such, and it isn’t just a fashion statement. Wearing the right kinds of clothing can keep you from suffering severe damage in the event of a wreck. There are specific kinds of gear out there which can be worn, but it isn’t always something you may want to wear out. Leather does a good job of replacing it, though it isn’t quite as effective.
Wearing a good leather jacket, protective pants, gloves and boots or shoes with nonskid soles can go a long way toward avoiding any permanent damage. And, let’s be honest, it all looks pretty cool while riding a motorcycle.
Reflective surfaces on clothing are also great as they help with your visibility. As a small object amongst much larger ones, doing anything you can to be seen is vital.
Open Your Eyes
It can’t be stressed enough how vulnerable you are on a motorcycle. This should not be a deterrent from riding, as a motorcycle offers a freeing experience which can’t be found in many other places. It should, however, drive into your mind the knowledge that you must pay attention.
According to GEICO, the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by larger vehicles getting into a motorcycle rider’s right of way. Because of this, visibility is key. Always have your headlights on, always signal as early as you can when you’re going to make lane changes, and always be knowledgeable of the location of other drivers.
Take care to avoid being the blind spots of cars and look carefully for turn signals on these vehicles. Your life absolutely depends on how well you can gauge the situation and react to changing situations, because you can’t depend on a car driver to be looking out for you.
Obey the Law
The feeling of freeness offered by a motorcycle may make it feel like you can do anything, but you shouldn’t. Speed limits are there for your safety, as much as they are for the safety of others. Always signal your intentions. Don’t drive erratically.
Try to stay in your lane and don’t maneuver between vehicles if it is illegal in your state. This is called lane splitting and is something often discussed. In some areas it is explicitly illegal, in others it’s a bit of a gray area. Either way, if you’re going to do it, make sure to pay extra attention to other vehicles, and if it’s illegal, just don’t do it at all.