Motorcycle Safety Tips
The warmer weather brings much excitement for Motorcycle enthusiasts. There’s nothing better to celebrate spring than a ride on the open road. But before hitting the road, be sure you’re not hitting anything else. Use these safety tips when riding this season:
Wear a helmet. Head injuries are the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders so if you adhere to one rule for the road, this one is it. Not all helmets are created equal, so be sure it is a Department of Transportation approved helmet as these provide the minimum standard of protection required. The helmet should cover most of your head without obstructing your vision.
Put your phone out of reach. There’s so much emphasis on distracted driving these days, and not being distracted while driving a motorcycle is doubly important. Controlling a bike requires more hands-on attention than a car in steering, braking, accelerating, and shifting – all of which are compromised if you are distracted by a smart phone. Reaction time is crucial, a fraction of a second can be the difference between life and death, particularly when there is no exterior frame protecting against forces in a collision. Bike riders need to be acutely aware of what’s going on around them.
Size matters. Because of their smaller size, motorcycles are more difficult for drivers to see than other vehicles on the road so bike riders must be vigilant about their surroundings. Be sure to leave enough distance between the bike and other cars and try to keep an escape route open to one side in the event that you cannot stop in time.
Wear proper protection. Although the weather may be calling for flip flops, save the open-toed shoes for the beach. Riding a motorcycle requires sufficient foot coverage for several reasons. First, because of the feet’s close proximity to the exhaust and engine systems, it is easy for the feet to encounter burns. Secondly, shifting gears on a bike requires use of the toes, which can get painful if feet are not adequately protected. Additionally, shoes that easily slip off can lead to a dangerous situation on the road. Shoes should fit securely and the heel should be low to provide good balance during stops.
Take a motorcycle safety course. Many motorcycle dealerships offer safety courses and it’s a great idea to take advantage of them. You can learn about the traffic safety laws in your particular State as well as motorcycle maintenance tips and how to avoid dangerous situations. You will also have the opportunity to practice skills in a safe environment. And many insurance companies will also offer discounts for drivers who have taken safety courses. You have nothing to lose!
Enjoy the road safely and be an “easy rider”!
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