While there’s no feeling like the open road on a motorcycle, the fact is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car. That doesn’t mean that riding a bike isn’t worth the risk, but simply that you must make sure to take extra precautions when riding. Here’s a far from exhaustive list of tips to stay safe on the road.
What Does Driving Safely Mean?
Hone your skills. If you’re a new rider or coming back after a long break, find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course or a similar class. It will teach you the basics as well as more advanced evasive maneuvers.
Be defensive. Car drivers are at fault 60 percent of the time in collisions involving a motorcycle and a car. Especially in the age of cellphones and text messaging, you need to be much more alert. Be able to think three steps ahead and keep an eye out for cars suddenly changing lanes or pulling out from side streets.
Watch for road hazards. You have two wheels instead of four, and they’re smaller than car tires, making small obstacles, such as sand, wet leaves, or pebbles a bigger hazard. Also, bumps and potholes that car drivers barely notice can be a serious danger to a motorcyclist. If you can’t avoid them, slow down as much as possible.
Other Steps that Help Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Buy the right bike for you. Bigger bikes are not necessarily better, and these days, even smaller motorcycles these days can be powerful, and of course, you should be able to lift it if (and most likely when) you drop it. Also, go for a bike equipped with antilock brakes, which drastically reduce your chances of crashing.
Get the right gear for riding. This is where the helmet conversation comes back. Arizona doesn’t require riders over 18 to wear a helmet, but it’s a no-brainer that riding without one is extremely dangerous. Riders not wearing helmets are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatay head injury in a crash than riders wearing helmets. For the rest of your body, go for a reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, and over-the-ankle footwear, the brighter the colors, the better. Effective eye protection is also a must.
Accidents happen, and especially for motorcycle riders, injuries can be severe and even fatal. If you or a family member has been involved in a motorcycle accident, schedule a consultation right away to determine whether you can recover damages.