How To Be Safe While Riding Your Motorcycle: From the right gear, insuring your motorcycle, yourself, proper bike maintenance & riding defensively.
Riding a motorcycle is often an exciting and adventurous experience. You can’t compare anything with the unique feeling you get when riding in an open-air with the wind brushing through your face, the remarkable moment of freedom, and its thrilling speed.
However, motorcycling is a complex and demanding task. It does come with a higher risk than driving four-wheeled vehicles because motorcycles do not come with protective features like a steel frame or airbag to help you against a crash.
According to NHTSA, motorcyclist deaths accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019. With these realities, it is wise to take safety precautions when riding. Below are helpful safety precautions to take before and during your ride on the open road.
Choose The Right Gear
Whatever the distance you intend to cover, always remember the mantra: All the Gear, All The Time. It is necessary to wear your full safety attire before any journey. An essential piece of equipment for riders is the helmet. Riders without helmets are 40% more likely to suffer head injuries. The helmet helps protect you against brain injuries.
Besides that, you can invest in long pants and motorcycle boots to cover your legs, feet, and ankle. Leather jackets, gloves to protect your hands, goggles or helmet visor when you are not using a full helmet, earplugs to protect against hearing damage, and a vest made with high visibility colors to increase the chance of being seen. Your protective wear might not avoid accidents, but it will surely help to protect against severe injury.
Insure Your Motorcycle
No one has all the control. So even when you take all the safety precautions, you can still be involved in a motorcycle accident. However, that is why you need to insure your motorcycle, for it will protect you and your bike in case of any crash. You do not plan to crash your bike, but there is a need to prepare for uncontrollable events.
In some states, some coverages are required, while others may be optional. Liability coverages, for instance, are needed to provide compensation for damages or injuries you may cause to others in an accident. Some other coverages can cover your motorcycle and accessories. You can also select personal limits and ranges to customize your policy according to your needs.
Check Your Bike Before Every Ride
Always ensure you inspect your motorcycle before hitting the road: test the brakes, ensure the light comes on, observe the chain, belts, and shafts, check the tire pressure and the horn indicators. You can also do a quick ride around to be sure everything is in order.
If you are carrying a passenger, the passenger should mount the bike only after starting the engine and keeping your feet on the footrests throughout the journey. Also, make sure you secure and balance any load you carry, adjusting the tire pressure and suspension to accommodate the additional weight.
Be Alcohol And Drug-free
It is critical to know that alcohol and motorists are incompatible. Alcohol and drugs are indeed significant risk factors for a fatal accident. Drunk riders are slow to react and are less critical to take quick actions.
Getting high is not only dangerous for you but other road users as well. According to NHTSA, having any alcohol in the body increases the chances of a crash five times. Alcohol affects three human elements of safe riding. It impairs your vision, decision-making ability, and your coordination time. If you are away from home and decide to drink at all, you need to park your motorcycle in a secured place and find an alternative way to get home.
Prepare For Unfavorable Weather
Driving in poor weather is quite challenging for a rider. The truth is that it can be unavoidable. You might leave your home with clear weather, and it becomes cloudy in the middle of your journey.
It is advisable to stop riding during adverse weather like snow, ice, or strong winds. However, if you must ride during the rain, ride slowly and progressively use the brakes.
As a rider, you need to know that you are more vulnerable than other four-wheeled vehicles. So it is wise to apply mental strategies while riding. Do not push your limits beyond your abilities but ride at a controllable speed and give space for other road users to respond.
Assume that other drivers may not be aware of your presence when you want to overtake, so ensure to signal ahead. And make sure you avoid overtaking near junctions. Always be vigilant when using the road because you cannot predict the actions of other drivers, that’s why keeping these road rules in mind will help.
Skilled riders pay close attention to their motorcycle, identify potential hazards, make fast decisions, and know and obey the road rules. The ability to change roadway and traffic conditions depends on your fitness and alertness. You will save other vehicles, pedestrians, and yourself if you take these safety measures seriously.