Riding a motorbike is an exhilarating and exciting experience for many. Most motorcycle riders love living life on the edge. They enjoy hearing the wind rushing past them as they travel on their powerful vehicle. They get great pleasure from purchasing a brand-new bike to show off to their friends. However, many riders forget about the safety concerns that motorcycles can raise. Staying safe and secure should always be a top priority for any motorcyclist.
Unfortunately, road traffic collisions are the cause of thousands of fatalities every year, and many of these incidents involve motorbikes. Taking the necessary safety precautions can significantly reduce the chances of a motorcyclist getting into a road traffic accident. These safety measures are all simple and easy to follow, yet they could make the difference between life and death for a rider.
If you find yourself in an incident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and/or losses. Contact The Levin Firm to speak to one of our bicycle accident lawyers today.
Here are six of the most important safety tips to take on board if and when you are riding a motorcycle.
1. Wear a Helmet
Wearing protective headgear is vital if you’re riding a motorcycle. Not only will it reduce the risk of major head trauma in the event of a collision, but it’s against the law not to wear one at all times when you’re on the roads. The helmet should not be too tight or too loose. It must fit your head with little room for movement, and without obstructing your view. A standard bicycle helmet will not suffice. Instead, you need a thick, sturdy headpiece that is made specifically for motorcyclists. There are multiple options, some of which provide full-face coverings. Make sure to choose one that offers maximum protection for your head. Your helmet could quite literally save your life!
2. Take a Safety Course
The extensive list of rules that every vehicle driver must abide by while on the roads can be difficult to remember. There may be one or two important laws that have escaped your mind, especially if it’s been a while since you passed your test. If this is the case, you might benefit from taking a safety course to ensure you are not putting your life, or the lives of others, at risk.
During these courses, you will learn the important rules of the road, including any newer laws that you might not be aware of. You will also have the opportunity to practice the key skills required for safe riding with expert monitoring and input.
3. Wear the Right Clothing
Due to being more exposed than car or truck drivers, motorcyclists must wear special protective gear while riding their bikes. This specialized clothing protects you from the outside elements and minimizes your chances of injury in the event of an accident.
Aside from your protective helmet, you will also need to invest in the following.
- Leather jacket to keep you dry in poor weather conditions. There are also options that are made with additional seams to strengthen the material or some with extra breathable features.
- Leather pants to protect your legs from the hard metal of the bike. They should be made of durable textiles, not denim or cotton.
- Leather gloves
- Sturdy riding boots to ensure you can get a good grip on the bike, even in wet weather conditions. Your boots should protect your lower legs and ankles.
If you don’t want to buy real leather items, make sure you purchase gear that is made of highly durable and resistant material.
4. Always Use Your Indicator
There’s a reason that forgetting to indicate during your driving or motorcycling tests prevents you from successfully passing an obtaining your license! Failure to indicate is a common cause of road traffic accidents in drivers of every type of vehicle. It might seem like a minor thing, but turning into or out of a road, or if you plan on coming to a stop and parking by the sidewalk. Using your indicators correctly signals to other drivers all riders what your intentions are so that they can react accordingly.
5. Stick to the Speed Limit
Speeding is, unfortunately, a major contributor to fatalities on the roads. You should always ride within the allocated speed limit of each road to minimize the chances of seriously injuring yourself or others. Although bikes are much smaller than others cars or trucks, you can still cause a serious accident by colliding with another vehicle or hitting a pedestrian. If you’re riding well above the speed limit, this could result in fatalities.
6. Check the Weather
As you are exposed to the elements on a motorcycle, it’s always a good idea to check the weather before you head out for a ride, no matter what month of the year you are in. We can’t always predict the weather, but we can always make a quick search online to check the forecast and it takes a matter of minutes to do. Torrential rain, snow, or wind can make it much harder to control your bike and can cause you to veer off track, resulting in potential injuries to you and others. Extreme weather conditions also make it much more difficult for you to clearly see the road ahead, or for other drivers to spot you. This is especially the case if you’re riding during the night hours when it is darker outside.
If the weather forecast isn’t looking promising, take an alternative mode of transport to get to your destination if possible. However, if you have no other means of getting to where you need to be, take extra care to ride slowly and with caution. Wear a high-visibility jacket if the sun is down. It’s better to be safe than sorry!