There are no two ways about it: Riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car. That doesn’t mean that you should forego riding your bike entirely. Plenty of motorcyclists hit the roads every year without getting into accidents. Those who manage to do so tend to obey the most important motorcycle safety tips. By keeping these tips in mind, the odds of ending up in a serious accident will drop considerably.
Get Your Motorcycle License
Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require one, you should get your motorcycle license. Acquiring such a license usually involves passing a skills and knowledge test. In some areas, safety courses are also required. At any rate, one out of four motorcyclists who were killed in accidents in 2001 didn’t have their motorcycle licenses.
Use the Right Protective Gear
You’re far less likely to be injured in a motorcycle accident when you use the right protective gear. A helmet is at the top of the list. Make sure to have an extra helmet for passengers too. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 out of every 100 motorcyclists who weren’t wearing helmets and were killed in crashes in 2001 would have survived if they’d been wearing helmets.
A helmet is a great start, but you should try to protect your entire body. You can do so by wearing boots, long pants, a jacket, gloves that completely cover your fingers and goggles or sunglasses. Your clothes should be made out of abrasion-resistant materials, and it should fit closely. Try to wear a few bright colors so that you stand out more on the road.
Steer Clear of Road Hazards
Keep your eye on the road at all time to avoid hazards like debris and oil slicks. If roads are slippery due to inclement weather, you should stay off your bike until conditions improve.
Know the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The vast majority of motorcycle accidents happen in a handful of different ways. Educate yourself about the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and do what you can to avoid such situations. Visibility is a common issue; automobile drivers often fail to see motorcyclists. Never assume that drivers can see you, and never share lanes with cars.
Get Professional Training
You may think there’s nothing to riding a motorcycle. That may technically be true, but riding one safely is a whole other matter. The safest motorcyclists tend to be the ones who have received professional training. In fact, 90 percent of motorcyclists who are involved in accidents learned how to ride from friends or learned on their own.
Keep Your Bike in Good Shape
Mechanical issues can be fatal when operating a motorcycle on a busy road. Make sure to keep up with your motorcycle’s routine maintenance. If you don’t have the time or desire to do it yourself, bring it to a shop and pay someone else to do it for you.
Never Drink and Drive
Just as you should never operate a car while under the influence of alcohol, you should never do so with a motorcycle. Speeding and drinking are involved in half of all motorcycle accidents, so get a designated driver or call a cab every time.
A little extra caution can go a really long when it comes to avoiding motorcycle accidents. By keeping the top safety tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy your bike without running into serious trouble.