Most people think of speed and danger when they think of motorcycles. You can hardly blame there for that when almost 5,000 people on motorcycles were killed in 2017 alone. That’s not to mention the injuries – running the gamut from mild to severe – that were caused by motorcycle accidents.
But in spite of all that, there’s no reason for you to give up riding if it’s what you love doing. You just need to be more careful on the road, especially during the holiday season when everyone is rushing to get somewhere else.
Here are some safety precautions to follow if you want to continue enjoying riding your motorcycle without endangering yourself and anyone else. (See also: Five Critical Tips For Staying Safe On The Road)
1. Put on your helmet
The head is the most vulnerable body part to injury if you get into an accident while riding, so better protect it by wearing a helmet certified by the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT). A DOT helmet, which is compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218, has a sticker bearing the DOT symbol to make it easily identifiable. In Europe, the equivalent standard is the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 22.05. A DOT helmet meets performance criteria such as resistance against impact attenuation shock absorption during an impact, and strength of the retention strap. Getting a DOT helmet means your head is well-protected against accidents, and also makes you five times less likely to get a serious head injury.
2. Wear the right attire
Aside from the helmet for your head, you need to protect the rest of your body as well by wearing the proper protective gear. If your helmet isn’t full-face, don a pair of shatter-resistant safety goggles to protect you from the sun when all goes well, and from sharp objects when something goes wrong. After the sun sets, switch to night vision goggles to help you navigate in the darkness. Next, make sure you have boots cover that covers your ankles, gloves that insulate your hands from either the heat or cold, a jacket that resists abrasion, a pair of pants that protects against pavement impact. Adjust your attire according to the weather (e.g., rain gear for wet seasons), and if you’re riding at night (e.g., reflective tape on your attire for better visibility). (See also: 8 Safety Tips for Road Bikers)
3. Apply defensive riding
A lot of motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers getting in the riders’ right of way, usually because the drivers didn’t see the motorcycle in their path. To be safe, always act as if the driver can’t see you by signaling ahead of time when changing directions, overtaking as carefully as possible, staying away from vehicles’ blind spots, approaching junctions and bends cautiously, looking out for turning vehicles, maintaining a reasonable speed, and never forgetting how vulnerable you really are on the road with your motorcycle compared to SUVs and trucks. Even a compact car is heavier than the biggest motorcycles, making it more damaging in an impact.
4. Know who to call
Sadly, accidents can still happen regardless of how careful you are. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, seek medical attention right away if you need it. After doing so, get in touch with a motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you determine if you have a case or not. If the accident was the other driver’s fault whether fully or partially, it’s possible you can make claims and receive payment for the damages. Click here to learn more about how a lawyer can help you after a motorcycle accident.
Riding is more fun when fast, but that doesn’t mean you should compromise safety on the road. Stay safe for more years of riding – now, that’s more fun, isn’t it?
About The Author:
Anne Kamwila is a freelance content writer and a digital marketer. She is passionate to write about health, technology, and business related guides, news, and books.