Riding a motorcycle is a great way to experience the open road, but it also comes with a certain level of risk. Motorcyclists must take extra precautions to ensure their safety while on the road, and it’s important to understand the law and the risks involved in order to stay safe. To help you on your journey, we’ve consulted with a motorcycle accident lawyer with our friends at Cashio Injury Attorneys, LLC to provide some helpful tips on how to stay safe while riding your motorcycle.
Wear the Proper Gear
First, make sure you have a good quality helmet that fits properly and meets safety standards. Helmets protect the head from traumatic brain injury in a crash, so it’s imperative that you choose one with great coverage and protection. Look for a helmet with a face shield or eye protection that meets ANSI or DOT standards. Secondly, it’s important to wear leather or strong fabric jackets and pants to reduce scrapes and road rash in the event of a fall. Motorcycle-specific jackets and pants will also offer additional protection from wind, rain, and bugs. Consider purchasing specialized leathers that have built-in padding on the elbows and shoulders. And don’t forget gloves—they provide protection from direct contact with the pavement and other elements while riding. Finally, it’s wise to invest in boots made specifically for motorcycling that protect your feet and ankles. Motorcycle boots should offer protection from heat, cold, and impact during a crash, as well as support your feet while riding.
Obey the Speed Limit
Driving too fast can increase your risk of an accident and serious injury. Always be aware of the posted speed limit and take into account road conditions and weather. Failing to obey the speed limit can result in costly fines, but more importantly, it can endanger your life.
Do Not Drink and Ride
It should go without saying that drinking and driving of any kind is an incredibly dangerous activity and a great way to get yourself in trouble. This applies to motorcycles as well. It is extremely important to remember that you are operating a powerful machine and must remain vigilant of your surroundings. Even if you think you’re safe, alcohol can significantly impair your judgment and coordination, leading to potentially deadly accidents.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Keep an eye out for traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, animals, and other obstacles that may come your way. Anticipate their movements and stay prepared for anything. Constantly scan ahead of you and check your mirrors as often as you can. Be aware of the condition of the roads you are riding on. Look out for potholes, loose gravel, wet leaves, or any other irregularities that may cause you to lose control of your bike. Be especially mindful in bad weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, and fog. Make sure that you are visible to other drivers by wearing brightly colored clothing and having your headlights and brake lights on at all times. If the sun is setting, make sure you have additional lighting on your bike so that you can be seen clearly from a distance.
Take a Riding Course
These courses can be offered at your local Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) approved rider training facility, or by many motorcycle clubs and organizations. A riding course will give you the opportunity to learn basic motorcycle skills, such as operating the controls, starting and stopping, braking, turning, and shifting gears.
If you get into an accident, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer near you for help.