8 Safety Tips Every Motorcyclist Should Remember
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of hitting the open road on a motorcycle. The wind in your hair, the feel of the engine beneath you, and the freedom of the ride are unmatched. However, with great freedom comes great responsibility, and motorcycle safety is of utmost importance. That’s why we’ve put together these eight essential tips for ride safe and sound. From proper gear to defensive driving, these tips will help you stay safe and make the most of your ride. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out, these tips are crucial to ensuring that you have a great ride every time. So buckle up (or rather, buckle your helmet), and let’s get started on the road to safer riding.
Why Motorcycle Safety Is Important
Although riding a motorcycle can be one of the most thrilling experiences, there are inherent dangers. Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars, making them more vulnerable to accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are almost 28 times more likely to die in a crash than people in passenger cars. That’s why it’s crucial to take safety seriously and follow these essential tips.
Wear the Right Gear
Wearing the right gear is crucial for motorcycle safety. It is the first line of defense against injuries in case of an accident. The most important piece of gear is a DOT-approved helmet. It can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 69%. Apart from that, you should wear reflective motorcycle gear, including a jacket, pants, gloves, and boots. The jacket should be made of abrasion-resistant material like leather or Kevlar to protect your skin. Pants should be made of similar material and have padding in the hips and knees. Gloves should be made of leather or Kevlar and cover your wrists. Boots should be sturdy and cover your ankles. Reflective gear can also help make you more visible on the road.
Conduct a Pre-Ride Check
Before you hit the road, it’s important to check your Dunlop motorcycle for any potential issues. Conducting a pre-ride check can help prevent accidents due to mechanical failures. Check the tires for any damage or low pressure, the brakes for responsiveness, and the lights for proper functioning. Make sure the oil and other fluids are at the correct levels. You should also check the chain or belt for proper tension and lubrication. If you notice any issues, get them fixed before you ride.
Defensive driving is the best way to avoid accidents on a motorcycle. This means always being aware of your surroundings and anticipating potential hazards. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and always assume that they do not see you. Avoid riding in blind spots and make sure you are visible to other drivers. Keep an eye out for road hazards like potholes or debris that can cause you to lose control. Always be prepared to react to unexpected situations.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
As a motorcyclist, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This means scanning the road ahead and checking your mirrors frequently. Look for potential hazards like cars changing lanes or turning without signaling. Keep an eye out for pedestrians and animals on the road. Be especially cautious at intersections, where many accidents occur. Always be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
Keep a Safe Distance From Other Vehicles
Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles is crucial for motorcycle safety. Motorcycles can stop much faster than cars, so it’s important to leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. The general rule is to keep a distance of at least two seconds from the vehicle in front of you. This gives you enough time to react if they suddenly stop or slow down. Increase the distance in bad weather or if you are riding at high speeds.
Practice Proper Braking Techniques
Proper braking techniques can make all the difference in an emergency situation. Most motorcycles have two brakes, one on the front and one on the back. The front brake provides most of the stopping power, but it can also cause the motorcycle to flip if applied too forcefully. The back brake provides less stopping power but can help control the speed. The best way to brake is to apply both brakes simultaneously, gradually increasing pressure. This helps distribute the weight of the motorcycle and brings it to a stop.
Stay Visible on the Road
Visibility is crucial for motorcycle safety. Wearing reflective gear can help make you more visible to other drivers, especially at night. Avoid riding in blind spots and make sure your headlights are always on. When turning or changing lanes, especially, use hand signals to communicate your intentions. Avoid wearing dark clothing that blends in with the road.
Avoid Riding Under the Influence
Riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a recipe for disaster. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol was a factor in 29% of all motorcycle fatalities in 2018. Drugs can impair your judgment and reaction time, making it more difficult to ride safely. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver or arrange for alternative transportation.
Motorcycle safety is essential for every rider. Wearing the right gear, conducting a pre-ride check, riding defensively, being aware of your surroundings, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, practicing proper braking techniques, staying visible on the road, and avoiding riding under the influence can all help prevent accidents. By following these essential tips, you can enjoy the thrill of the ride while staying safe and sound.