Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle is an experience like no other. Feeling the wind in your face as you fly down the road is an adrenaline rush each and every time you get out on your motorcycle, but there is also a huge risk factor for accidents when riding a motorcycle.

Approximately 47% of motorcycle crashes are fatal, that is 34 times more likely than a fatal crash in a passenger car. This sobering statistic shows the true dangers and lethality of riding a motorcycle that must be taken seriously by any motorcycle rider. These risks can be greatly avoided and substantially lowered if you take these few precautions when riding your bike.

1. Use Proper Gear

When your riding a motorcycle there is nothing between you and the road unlike in a car with seatbelts and windows, so proper riding gear is an undeniable necessity for every motorcycle rider.

The most important piece of gear for every motorcyclist is a good helmet. Any DOT-approved helmet is a lifesaver that can make the difference between life and death in a motorcycle accident. Helmets protect the most important organ in the body, the brain, from the dangers of the world and in this case the asphalt. Statistics show that helmets prevent about 37% of motorcycle deaths.

Always wear protection covering your whole body, including your eyes. Protective clothing is a must when riding a motorcycle. Many motorcycle crashes send cyclists flying down the highway at high speeds. Protective clothing can help protect your skin from being torn to shreds by the pavement. Also, eye protection can help prevent accidents by stopping flying debris from affecting your vision while riding.

Knowing the weather is a crucial factor in motorcycle safety, so make sure to always check the weather report and accommodate for any undesirable conditions. If it is raining make sure to wear rain gear or be ready to wait out the storm.

2. Be Careful When Carrying a Passenger

Carrying a passenger on a motorcycle greatly increases the risks of riding because it makes the bike much harder to maneuver with an uneven weight distribution, and it doubles the number of lives at stake on the road. Only carry a passenger if your bike is designed to handle it, small bikes meant only for one passenger become very dangerous for both people if you try to fit an extra rider. Also, make sure your passenger is ready for the responsibility of being on a motorcycle and knows how to properly ride as a passenger and you have an extra helmet for them. Tell your passenger the correct posture they need to avoid burns from the hot exhaust, and let them know not to make any sudden movements that may throw the weight of the bike off. In the end the motorcycle owner has to make the proper decision on who is ready to be a passenger on their motorcycle and who is not, because when you have a passenger both of the riders are in control of the bike.

3. Stay Visible

Visibility is a huge key in motorcycle safety that every motorcyclist should try to maximize in order to avoid collisions. Approximately 77% of motorcycle accidents happen from the front end of the motorcycle, this shows that people are simply not seeing the motorcyclist at all. Some great ways to maximize your visibility and safety are to wear bright, reflective clothing and make sure you have working headlights at all times. This will increase road visibility especially in dark conditions. Also, make sure to maintain a safe distance behind cars so they can recognize you. Stay at least 2 seconds behind in speeds of up to 40mph and at least 4 seconds behind on the highway. This may sound a bit over-cautious, but it can mean the difference between life and death.

4. Know Your Bike

Every bike has its own quarks and tendencies and every bike owner should get to know their bike so they can be as safe as possible. Make sure to read your bikes manual thoroughly to know its ins and outs like the location of the first aid kit and how to fix certain problems. Make sure to check the oil, fuel, and breaks often for any problems or abnormalities. Also, know what all the controls on your motorcycle are for, and don’t mess with anything you don’t know about.

5. Understand the Legalities

Being well-informed and staying legal is always a great way to maximize motorcycle safety. Make sure you are properly licensed to operate and drive a motorcycle before you get behind the wheel, and make sure you have the proper insurance incase of any accidents. Know the specific laws of your state such as helmet laws, and try to stay within the law while riding on the street. Drinking and driving laws are among the most important laws to follow while driving any vehicle, but especially a motorcycle because drinking impairs balance, which is a necessity for riding. Staying within your legal limits always maximizes safety.