Tips for Motorcycle Safety on the Road

As we get into the summer months it is the perfect time to jump on your bike but whether you are a seasoned rider or just a rookie, there are important safety precautions you need to take if you don’t want to end up seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.

Wear a Motorcycle Helmet
The one piece of equipment every rider needs even on short trips is a helmet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when you buy a helmet look for one with at “DOT” label on the back. This indicates that the helmet you’re are buying meets the safety standards of the Department of Transportation.

Some helmets come equipped with a face shield to protect your face and eyes from winds, rain, bugs and road debris. If your helmet doesn’t have a shield you should wear eye protection.

Dress in Protective Gear
Any accident on a motorcycle can be bad and protecting as much of your skin as possible is a good idea. The NHTSA says you should wear leather or heavy denim pants and jacket. Proper footwear that covers your ankle is also good along with protection for your hands. Gloves also help to improve your grip on your motorcycle.

Weather can often be hard to predict. It is important to dress for the weather conditions you will be riding in so you will be comfortable.

Practice Using the Controls
Regardless of your skill level of bike riding. Every time you get on your motorcycle you should be familiarizing yourself with the controls. This includes adjusting levers and pedals so they are easily reached. Trying out your headlight differ switch before it gets dark and you should know the location of the horn should you need it.

If your motorcycle has a reserve fuel valve, brush up on how it works so you can easily and quickly turn it on if you find you need to.

Check Your Motorcycle Before Riding
Proper maintenance to your motorcycle can help you to avoid any surprises that could arise while you’re on the road. There are six parts you should check before taking your bike out. The tires and rims, controls, lights, fluids, chassis and stands. Some issues you may be able to resolve yourself and others may require a professional repair shop if there is a problem.

Be a Defensive Rider
When riding your bike, it is vital that you keep your position so you can be seen easily by other motorists that share the road with you. Try to avoid riding in other driver’s blind spots where you can’t be seen. Statistically, most motorcycle accidents occur because of distracted driving by the other driver.  To avoid serious injury that could affect you the rest of your life, watch out for the other guy to make sure you’re not in a serious car accident – usually at high speed.

Use your horn if you think another driver may do something that could put you in danger. Just a quick horn could alert the other driver you are there.

Avoid Road Hazards
The roads can pose their own dangers to motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are more prone to skids and bumps in the road than cars or trucks would be. Be cautious of any debris like pebbles and wet leaves. Avoid potholes and other potential hazards and slow down as much as you can if road conditions become treacherous. If you need to go over bumps or railroad tracks. Try and approach then at a right angle to prevent your bike from skidding.

By following these necessary tips, you not only help keep yourself safe but other people that are on the road. Driving a motorcycle can be a great way to get around but there is a responsibility you need to take for your own safety.