According to 2016 data studied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists experience fatal crashes 28 times more often than other vehicles. Staying safe on the road means being alert, visible and sober. In addition, be sure to follow the tips below:
- Ride with a Motorcycle Helmet
Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require motorcyclists to wear helmets, you should still use one every time you ride. Make sure the helmet you choose complies with the Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines.
Consider choosing a helmet with a face shield or wear goggles instead. Your regular eyeglasses won’t protect your eyes from stones, wind, dust, rain and insects as well as specially-made eyewear. Glasses can also easily slip and even fall off while you’re riding.
- Wear Protective Clothing
If you get into an accident, you can reduce your injuries by wearing protective clothing. Gear such as boots with non-skid soles, gloves and leather clothing can reduce the impact if you fall or get into a skid.
- Be Defensive
Did you know that almost two-thirds of motorcycle accidents were the result of a driver who didn’t see the motorcyclist? Drive defensively and always assume that other drivers don’t see you. Keep your headlight on day and night, avoid being in a driver’s blind spot and signal any directional changes early. Keep an eye out for turning vehicles because other vehicles will often react suddenly and unexpectedly in response.
- Get Educated
According to NHTSA’s report, “2018 Traffic Safety Facts,” more than a quarter of the motorcycle riders who were in fatal crashes did not hold a valid motorcycle license. Even if you do have the proper motorcycle license, make sure you take and complete a riding education program that’s specifically about motorcycles. Take refresher riding courses on a regular basis to learn new riding strategies and to keep your riding skills sharp.
- Maintain Your Motorcycle
Every time, before you climb on your bike, make sure that you do a pre-ride check. Look at the tires for any unusual wear or bulges. Check the fluids to make sure they’re at the proper levels. Test the lights and signals. Look under your motorcycle for any evidence of leaks.
By following the five tips above before riding and during your trip, you’ll reduce your chances of getting into a motorcycle accident. This will allow you to enjoy the experience more fully.