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As anyone who has ridden a motorcycle can tell you, it’s a lot of fun. However, with this fun comes an added level of risk. Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars, and as a result, you need to be more cautious while you’re riding one. To do this, here are some safety guidelines you should follow each and every time you take your bike out.
Wear the Proper Equipment
The first thing you need to do is ensure you are wearing the proper equipment. Unlike a car, there is special gear that you should have before you ride. The most important of these items is your helmet. Most states require that you wear a helmet when riding your motorcycle, and for good reason. Helmets have been proven to not only save lives, but to make injuries like brain damage less severe. Make sure you have an approved helmet, that it fits, and that you wear it each time, no matter what.
Examine Your Bike Before Riding
Before you ride, it’s a good idea to give your bike a quick inspection. Check for things like leaking fluid, flat tires, or corroded wires. Test out the brakes at low speeds, or while pushing the bike, to make sure they are working properly. Checking your bike before you go will allow you to spot any problems or defects. You’ll be glad you did this when you avoid an injury due to a motorcycle defect.
Check the Weather Forecast
One of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents is inclement weather. It’s hard to see when there is rain directly in your eyes, and unlike a car, you don’t have a windshield to protect you from the storm. Most motorcycle riders know this, and won’t go out when it’s raining. However, just because it isn’t raining now doesn’t mean it isn’t going to. Before you head out, be sure to check the weather forecast. This will give you a good idea if it’s safe to ride.
Obey the Rules of the Road
This one should go without saying, but you need to obey the rules of the road. It’s important for anyone driving a car to heed to laws governing the roads in your area, but it’s even more crucial that motorcyclists do it. Speeding or making illegal turns are dangerous, and motorcyclists who do it are putting themselves in even greater danger. We know its tempting when you’re on your bike to go a little faster than allowed, but considering its your life at stake, follow the speed limit.
Travel with a Group
Another great thing you can do is travel with a group. When you travel with a group of other motorcyclists, you can watch out for one another. Traveling with a group forces you to go slower, and to stick together through traffic. You also create more noise as a group, alerting cars in the area to your presence. So, if you know any other motorcyclists, consider giving them a call before you head out on your next ride.
Don’t Take Chances
Finally, just don’t take chances. If your tire looks a little flat, or the sky a little cloudy, or if that light just turned yellow, don’t chance it. You can always take your bike out on another day, or get to your destination a little later. Your life is more important, so play it safe whenever you’re riding your bike. Motorcycles are dangerous enough without you taking risks.
What to do if You’re in an Accident
If the worst happens, and you do find yourself in an accident, here’s what you should do. First, get yourself to a safe space. Get to the side of the road and away from traffic. If you or anyone else was injured, call for help right away. Even if you only have minor scrapes or bruises you should be examined by a doctor, just to make sure you don’t have any more serious injuries.
While you’re waiting for help to arrive, if you’re feeling up for it, exchange information with any other drivers or riders involved with the accident. Get their name, number, and car information, along with their insurance info. Then, take some pictures of your injuries, the damage to the bike, and the surrounding area. For more information, here are some things you shouldn’t do after a motorcycle accident.
Hopefully your accident wasn’t bad, and you’ll only have some minor cuts and bike damage to deal with. After the accident, take some time to figure out what went wrong, and if there was anything you could have done differently. Think of the list above, and see if one of those things could have prevented the accident. Then keep it in mind the next time you ride, and hopefully prevent any future accidents from happening again.