It’s not hard to see why so many people all across America are opting for motorcycles over other means of personal transport. Motorcycles are fun to own, exciting to ride, cheap to insure, and often far more cost-efficient in the long run when compared to the likes of cars and SUVs, especially for couples or solo riders.
With such a lot of arguments in favor of motorcycle ownership, the advantages are clear to see. Unfortunately, that’s only one side of the coin. There are also some problems with motorcycles that every enthusiast needs to acknowledge, and one of the biggest issues of all is the fact that bikes just aren’t as safe as cars.
According to recent data, if you’re riding a motorcycle, you’ll be 28 times more likely to die in an accident when compared to a driver sitting behind the wheel of a car. Bikes simply do not offer the same levels of protection, and even with recent safety advancements, they still struggle to keep up with airbags, radars, sensors, and other security features found in cars, vans, and more.
For these reasons, bike riders have to take safety even more seriously when they’re out on the roads, as they’re more likely to come off second best if an accident happens. Not only that, but many other road users can sometimes fail to notice bikes or don’t respect the proper security distances and signals, putting riders at risk. Here are some safety tips that can help you protect yourself.
Protect Your Head
One of the first tips to keep in mind when it comes to staying safe on a motorcycle is always to make sure you’re wearing a helmet while riding. There really are no excuses to not wear one, and it’s even a legal requirement in many states and other parts of the world as well.
Studies show that helmets really do save lives, serving as a strong, protective barrier between your head and any hard objects or surfaces it might encounter if you get flung from your bike when an accident happens.
There are many potential causes of motorcycle accidents. Some of them are caused by slippery road surfaces due to icy weather, while others are caused by the reckless actions of other road users, like drivers operating their vehicles under the influence.
However, many accidents are caused by the actions of actual motorcyclists, and if you want to reduce your personal chances of ending up in an accident, it’s important to take accountability and be sensible in your actions, using signals, mirrors, and so on.
Avoid Road Rage
Another one of the possible causes of motorcycle accidents – and other types of auto accidents too – is road rage. For a range of different reasons, people can get quite angry out on the roads, often enraged by the irresponsible or reckless actions of others.
This can be even worse for motorcyclists, as it’s so common to encounter drivers who don’t keep their distance, fail to signal when changing lanes, or simply act like you’re not there. However, letting yourself get angry will only make matters worse, so try to remain calm and safe instead.
Every motorcyclist should have a helmet, as outlined above, but there are also a range of other accessories and items of attire you may want to consider when it comes to riding safely and reducing your risk of issues and accidents.
For starters, you might want to invest in a good pair of riding gloves that can help to protect your skin and hands from injuries and irritation. Strong leather attire is also recommended, as well as solid, stable footwear that lets you get a good grip on the pedals beneath your feet.
Take Breaks When You Need Them
Riding a motorcycle can sometimes feel like a form of physical and mental exercise. It requires a lot of focus and concentration, as well as genuine physical strength and stamina to guide your bike around and stay safe on the roads.
It’s only natural, therefore, that after all those efforts, you may start to feel a little tired. If and when that happens, don’t push yourself to carry on and run the risk of an accident happening. Instead, pull over safely, take a break, stretch your legs, and rest up a while before continuing your journey. It’s better to arrive a little later and be safe than carry on riding while tired.
Distracted driving is one of the worst problems facing modern drivers and riders of all road vehicles, and it causes thousands of accidents, deaths, and injuries every single year, with so many of those deaths and injuries being completely avoidable.
Anyone can be guilty of letting themselves get distracted. Perhaps you want to quickly check your phone when waiting in traffic, for example, or you’re listening to music a little too loud while riding. Any of these activities and more could lead to you losing concentration and colliding with another vehicle, so try to stay focused and attentive at all times.
Adapt to the Environment
Every road user, from truckers to motorcyclists, has to respect the power and unpredictability of Mother Nature. Depending on where you live, the weather can change a lot from season to season, with everything from hot and sunny days to icy snowstorms and tropical hurricanes to take into account for people all across the US.
Rain, wind, ice, snow, and more can all affect your safety out on the roads, and even sunny days can give you glare on your visor and make it more uncomfortable to ride for long periods of time. Make sure you’re ready and able to adapt to changing weather conditions, slowing down when roads get wet and making adjustments to suit the circumstances around you.
Keep these top tips in mind to help protect yourself, your passengers, other road users, and pedestrians around you every time you head out for a ride.