Riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a vehicle. They are more unstable than vehicles and lack protection from road and weather elements. Despite this, motorcycle riding continues to be one of the most enjoyed hobbies and forms of transport.
Due to the absence of a protective metal cage around the rider, motorcycle collisions with vehicles often result in severe injuries or death. Here are some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries:
- Leg, foot, and ankle injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash on hands, wrists, arms, and feet
- Muscle injuries to the neck
- Spine fractures and injuries
- Internal injuries and organ damage
- Hand, wrist, and arm fractures
- Back injuries
10 Motorcycle Safety Tips
Below are tips for riding your motorcycle safely:
1. Wear a Helmet
Most motorcycle accident fatalities result from traumatic brain injuries. Nearly 1,859 motorcycle deaths were prevented by wearing helmets in 2016. It was noted that riders who wore helmets were 40% less likely to die in crashes than those who did not.
Ensure you wear a properly fitting helmet before every ride. “Check the helmet’s safety standards and ensure they meet the NHTSA’s helmet regulations. If you are carrying any passengers, ensure they also wear an NHTSA-certified helmet to protect them from head injuries,” says injury lawyer Clive Markland of Roberts Markland, LLP.
2. Gear Up
Proper gear goes beyond a helmet. While your head is protected, your body remains vulnerable to road conditions. Wearing other protective gear offers additional protection, and you should avoid riding in shorts, sandals, and loose clothing.
Instead, wear protective pants and jackets to protect from road rash. If possible, wear sturdy boots to protect your feet from injuries during a crash. Do not forget to add leather gloves for hand protection and shatter-resistant eyewear for your eyes.
3. Increase Your Visibility
Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles on the road and may be difficult to spot, especially when it is dark. Always ensure you are visible to other motorists by wearing reflective clothing every time you go for a ride. Also, always use your headlights when riding in darkness.
Install reflectors on your motorcycle to help other road users notice you from a good distance. Avoid overtaking vehicles from blindspots. If you suspect a driver has not seen you, make your presence known by hooting.
4. Avoid Riding in Bad Weather
Extreme weather conditions like snow and rain storms make riding more challenging. Remember, motorcycles are more unstable compared to vehicles and could easily skid out on slippery roads. Thus, it is important to always check the weather forecast before going out.
Avoid traveling in bad weather; if you must, take extra caution. Ride at reasonable speeds and increase your visibility.
5. Follow Traffic Rules
Like other motorists, motorcyclists must follow road rules and drive responsibly. Do not ride while intoxicated or distracted. Instead, drive defensively with your entire focus on the road.
Avoid aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating other motorists and making sudden turns on the road. You are responsible for your own safety; follow vehicles from a safe distance and always use turn signals.
6. Practice continuous learning
Continuous learning is a crucial aspect of being a responsible and skilled motorcyclist. By enrolling in motorcycle safety courses and participating in advanced rider training programs, you can enhance your riding skills, gain valuable knowledge, and stay updated on the latest safety techniques.
These courses often cover topics such as defensive riding, hazard awareness, and emergency maneuvers. Ongoing education not only improves your confidence and control on the road but also enables you to adapt to changing road conditions and potential hazards.
7. Stay sober
Operating a motorcycle requires focus, coordination, and quick reflexes. Riding under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any substances that impair your judgment significantly increases the risk of accidents and injuries.
Even small amounts of alcohol or certain medications can impair your ability to ride safely. It’s vital to always ride with a clear mind and free from any substances that could compromise your judgment, reaction time, and motor skills. By staying sober while riding, you prioritize your safety and the safety of others on the road.
8. Avoid distractions
Distracted riding is a major hazard that can lead to accidents and serious injuries. It’s important to eliminate all distractions and maintain your full focus on the road. Avoid using your phone, eating, or adjusting controls while riding.
Make any necessary adjustments or communications before you start your journey or pull over to a safe location. By staying focused and attentive, you can anticipate potential dangers, react promptly, and make split-second decisions to ensure your safety.
9. Maintain proper maintenance
Regular maintenance of your motorcycle is essential for optimal performance and safety. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and conduct routine inspections of your bike. Check fluid levels, inspect tires for proper inflation and tread wear, and ensure all lights and signals are working correctly.
Regular oil changes, chain adjustments, and brake checks are also important. Proper maintenance not only reduces the risk of mechanical failures that can lead to accidents but also ensures that your motorcycle handles well and responds effectively to your commands, enhancing your overall safety and riding experience.
10. Ride within your limits
Knowing and respecting your limits as a rider is crucial for your safety on the road. Each individual has different skill levels and comfort zones when it comes to riding a motorcycle. It’s essential to ride at a pace that is comfortable for you and within your abilities.
Avoid the temptation to exceed your limits or try to keep up with more experienced riders. Pushing beyond your comfort zone can lead to poor decision-making, loss of control, and increased risk of accidents.
Riding within your limits allows you to maintain control of your motorcycle and make safe maneuvers, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable riding experience.
Motorcycle safety heavily relies on safety measures taken by riders, especially when it comes to the accessories of a motorcycle. Always inspect the motorcycle for any loose bolts, leaks, or mechanical hazards before riding it. Check the brakes, tail lights, and throttle. This is especially important when you rent a motorcycle from Los Angeles motorcycle rentals. Also, always ensure you are wearing the right gear and following traffic rules. Other road users must respect riders and give them the right of way when necessary.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you can contact a qualified motorcycle accident attorney to help you in obtaining compensation. You may be compensated for financial and non-financial losses caused by the accident.