Motorcycle Safety Tips

While there’s no denying that motorcycles are indeed a lifestyle and hearken back to a time when leather jackets and “rebels without a cause” ruled the roads, they just aren’t as safe as cars. To some people, though, that’s the appeal – living life on the edge and heading out toward that proverbial horizon, shedding all restraints and reveling in an overwhelming sense of freedom. Motorcycles travel as fast as cars do – many even faster in the case of souped-up “superbikes” so prevalent on the roadways today – but they lack car safety features most people take for granted.

Still, riding on a motorcycle doesn’t have to be an exercise in cheating or courting a fatal situation. These mean machines may be inherently less safe than cars, but there are a plethora of tips riders can follow to keep everyone safe. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular kinds:

1. Hazardous Driving Conditions and How to Maneuver in These Situations – Because they aren’t as stable as cars, riding a motorcycle in the rain is much riskier than driving a car. With only two wheels, you have half the traction a car possesses and because motorcycles don’t have traditional windshield wipers, your visibility is severely compromised. When you’re preparing to ride, always check the weather. If heavy rain, snow or ice is predicted, leave the bike at home and if you must ride in the rain, don’t ride right after the storm. When you’re on your way, be extra cautious – go slowly and leave plenty of space for stopping and if the weather gets worse, stop and wait it out.

2. Check Tire Pressure – Tires are the most important parts of your bike. Check the surface of the tires for cuts and foreign objects and check the tire pressure with a good gauge – avoid the ones you find at gas stations.
3. Ensure Blinkers Work – A good idea is to check your turn signals, cables and lights to ensure they made it through the winter undamaged.
4. Always Signal Intent – Signal your intent by always using your turn signals.
5. Always Wear Full Riding Gear – Whether you’re riding across town or across the country, always wear protective gear such as a helmet, jacket, long pants, boots, goggles, gloves and high visibility indicators.
6. Ride With Mirrors – In California, motorcycles must have at least one mirror located so as to give the driver a view of at least 200 feet to the rear of the bike.
7. Never Ride in Blind Spot – Don’t hang out in a truck’s blind spot or “No-Zone;” trucks have large No-Zones on both sides: The front and behind the truck. Truck drivers cannot see you when you ride in these blind spots.
8. If Lane Splitting, Do So With Caution – Lane splitting should not be performed by inexperienced riders. When choosing to lane split, skilled motorcycle riders should consider traffic flow, traffic lanes, environment and hazards.
9. Be Insured – While this may seem like an obvious factor, it’s vital to make sure you carry both life and motorcycle insurance.

If the inevitable happens and you are unfortunately injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another vehicle, contact Motorcycle Advocates today by filling out a free consultation form!