Dirk biking is what some might describe as a “no guts, no glory” kind of sport. It has the potential for unprecedented thrills, but with that comes a level of risk that riders shouldn’t sleep on.
No one wants an adrenaline-filled trip through the motocross track to end with a ride in the back of an ambulance. Fortunately, if you follow a few safety guidelines, dirt biking can be a safe and healthy way to blow off steam. Here are eight tips for preventing major dirt biking accidents on your next ride.
Wear the proper protective gear
If you’ve got an incurable need for speed, it can be tempting to shed weight by forgoing your protective gear. However, wearing protective headgear and body armor is critical while on the road or trail. Accidents can happen unexpectedly, which means there’s no such thing as a safe dirt bike ride if you’re not wearing your protective gear.
For example, if you decide to leave your helmet behind, you’ll be risking a traumatic brain injury or TBI. TBIs are the most common types of injuries that occur from motorcycle accidents. As such, it is crucial to take extra care in avoiding permanent damage to your body and way of life. You should ensure that any protective gear you purchase fits properly and has the relevant safety ratings.
If the worst happens and you receive a TBI, law firms like Schwartzapfel Lawyers (https://www.fightingforyou.com/) can ensure you receive fair representation in any litigation you decide to pursue.
Besides TBIs, there are other types of injuries you can sustain while dirt biking, including:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burns and lacerations
- Bruises, etc.
Wearing full protective gear, including a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, etc., should help mitigate the effects of any accidents.
There are many types of helmets for all sorts of different sports, but if you’re planning to ride off-road, make sure your helmet is DOT certified for dirt biking and has a Snell rating (Sn-2000 or M2010).
Slow things down
Another road accident cause is speeding. When you let impatience or thrill-seeking get the best of you, you put yourself and other riders at risk.
You should slow things down and be extra cautious while on the trails, especially if it is your first time on a new model.
Even if you’re an experienced biker, it’s still better to be safe than sorry. Take it slow on the blacktop and on loose dirt trails to avoid preventable accidents.
Ride the appropriate bike
As a novice biker, you may be tempted to prove yourself with a more challenging bike model. However, you should take a step back and remind yourself that everyone starts somewhere and that putting safety first is the sign of a mature bike rider.
If you’re still relatively young or have limited experience in this field, it’s best to ride a bike designed for beginners and gradually advance from there.
Also, you may want to choose a bike that gives you the ultimate comfort during the ride. It may seem superficial, but rider comfort has a significant impact. The more comfortable you are, the higher your confidence level in the trail and the more likely to avoid hesitation-based accidents.
Keep your bike in perfect shape
Every bike rider is only as good as their bike’s upkeep and condition.
Even if it doesn’t seem like there are any problems, it pays off to invest some time into inspecting your bike regularly. What’s invisible to you now could cause you a world of hurt later if you don’t take your bike in for consistent tune-ups.
A simple error like a loose wheel bolt can lead to a tragic biking accident, so make sure everything is tight and in perfect shape before you hit the trails.
If you’re not experienced enough to check your bike for possible errors yourself, you can always consult professional help before you start burning rubber.
Never ride alone
Accidents can happen to anyone regardless of experience, and you must always have someone with you who knows how to handle a bike in unexpected situations. If you get hurt while riding alone, you may not be able to seek help.
Another advantage of going on a ride with someone is that you can switch off and take some rest when needed. It’s essential to stay fresh, especially if the trail requires your full attention or endurance (e.g., long climbs).
Avoid riding in poor weather conditions or the dark
It is recommended to go riding when it’s sunny or in the early mornings, as trails tend to be much dryer during this time of day. Dryer trails help prevent accidents due to slippery surfaces (e.g., mud).
Riding in the dark is equally as dangerous as riding in poor weather conditions, so avoid doing this whenever possible. If it’s inevitable to ride at night, wear bright colors so that oncoming traffic or bikers coming from behind can see you.
It is also wise to install reflectors onto your bike and body (e.g., vests with reflective strips). Helmets are another way to be seen on the road or trails, so make sure yours fits well and has reflective stickers or coating.
Stick to the trail roads
When riding on main roads, stick to biking lanes when available and follow all traffic laws. If there is no infrastructure set up for bikers, try sticking with groups of other riders so that drivers can see you more easily than if you were alone.
If going off-road, always ride on trails that have been designated for dirt biking. Do not attempt to cross a busy street or any roads without the proper signs indicating that bike crossing is permissible.
You need all the focus and attention you use when driving a car to ride a bike, so staying sober is a must. Avoid taking intoxicating substances or riding after drinking, as these will impair your judgment and possibly lead to accidents.
You could be in a bike accident at any time, so it’s best always to be prepared for anything with safety gear. Helmets are must-haves as they protect your head from injury in case of falls, while padding will help absorb the shock and prevent bruising.
Ensure you follow all these steps to keep yourself and other bikers safe during a thrilling ride through the trails.