There are many advantages of owning and riding a motorcycle, as compared to driving a car. Lots of motorcycle enthusiasts talk about the unique thrills and exciting sensations of riding a motorcycle, for example, arguing that sitting behind the wheel of a car simply isn’t as fun or enjoyable.
Others say that motorcycles are better for their small size, maneuverability, or lower insurance and maintenance costs. And with so many great benefits, it’s easy to understand why more and more people across the US are taking an active interest in motorcycles and purchasing them for themselves.
However, even though motorcycles have their advantages, it’s also important to acknowledge their drawbacks. One of the biggest downsides to owning and riding a motorcycle is the plain and simple fact that it is more dangerous than driving a car, with motorcyclists estimated to be 28 times more likely to die in road accidents than those in cars and other vehicles.
Because of their small size and lack of protective features, motorcycles can also be more likely to leave their riders with serious injuries like road rash and broken bones if and when crashes and collisions occur. Therefore, it’s in ever rider’s best interests to ride safely, and this guide will cover some useful safety tips for motorcycle owners to follow.
Always Wear a Helmet
One of the golden rules for motorcycle enthusiasts to always keep in mind and adhere to is this: always wear a helmet. The legal situation on helmets can vary from state to state, and some people mistakenly believe that helmets aren’t that necessary, but they are.
Statistics show that helmets save a lot of lives every year, acting as a shield to protect the skull and brain if an accident happens. Brain and head injuries can be life-changing, so it really is vital to do whatever you can to protect your head when you ride.
Adapt to the Weather
Depending on where you live, the weather and temperatures might change a lot from one month to the next. Car and truck owners have to adapt to changing weather conditions, and motorcycle riders need to do the same.
When it rains, for example, you should reduce your speeds to allow for the extra brake times. And even when it’s sunny in the summer, you need to take breaks, keep yourself hydrated, and watch out for slippery sections of hot tar on the road.
We’ve already spoken about the importance of helmets for motorcycle riders, but there are many other accessories and pieces of safety equipment you can bring along on your daily rides.
Motorcycle enthusiasts are encouraged to wear gloves, for example, to protect their hands if they fall from their bike. Leather attire is recommended too, as this offers strong protection against injuries like road rash. Visors can also be a wise choice.
Distracted driving is a big problem, accounting for many deaths and injuries every single year. This happens when drivers or motorcycle riders allow themselves to get distracted, taking their attention away from the road.
As a motorcycle rider, you may be less likely to get distracted than a car driver, but the risk still exists. Keep your hands on the bars and your eyes on the road at all times to stay as safe as possible.
Speed limits exist for a reason. They help to make the roads safer for everyone, but some road users seem to feel that the rules don’t apply to them. Many motorcycle enthusiasts can get into the bad habit of going 5, 10, or 20 mph over the limit.
If you’ve developed this habit too, try to stop it. Speed limits need to be adhered to, especially by motorcycle riders, because there are fewer defenses in place for you to avoid injury if you’re going too fast to slow down and avoid an accident.
Keep Your Bike in Good Condition
Some auto accidents are caused by simple technical issues like a lack of brake fluid, uneven tires, or faulty systems that make it hard for drivers and riders to keep control of their vehicles.
This is why it’s always a great idea to keep your motorcycle in good condition, carrying out essential maintenance tasks on a regular basis like oil changes and air filter replacements.
Take Breaks if You Need Them
Another factor that could increase your chances of having an accident is tiredness. A lot of people drive or ride for too long without giving themselves a breather now and then, and if you ride while tired, you may have slower reaction times and poorer decision-making abilities.
So, if you’re on a long ride, make sure to pull over safely now and then to give yourself some time to rest. Your mind and body will thank you for the respite, and you’ll be much safer when you head back on the road too.
One of the frustrating things that many motorcycle enthusiasts have to deal with on a regular basis is drivers failing to notice them or failing to show them respect; people in bigger vehicles might change lanes right in front of you or drive really close behind you, for example.
This is why motorcycle riders need to be able to ride defensively, taking appropriate action to keep their distance from reckless drivers and stay safe, rather than getting sucked into dangerous situations.
Always Be Alert
Our final tip is another important one: always stay focused while riding your motorcycle. When you ride, your safety is in your own hands, and it’s up to you to take the right actions to keep yourself safe and protect others too.
You never know when a dangerous situation might arise while riding your motorcycle, so you always have to keep your wits about you, watching out for things like crossing pedestrians and potholes on the road.
Motorcycles can be a lot of fun to ride, but riders need to be aware of the risks they face, taking the correct steps to limit those risks, and stay safe on the roads.
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