Did you know there are between 5 and 6,000 fatal motorcycle crashes per year in the United States? And this actually accounts for 15 percent of all traffic related fatalities.
With disheartening statistics such as these, it makes it all the more important to adopt safety practices while traveling the road on a motorcycle.
With so many benefits of traveling, owning a motorcycle is a lifestyle all unto its own. In many ways, it’s like owning a tiny piece of freedom that many drivers never get to experience. And this is because traveling by motorcycle creates an intimate experience with the road.
Your face is against the wind, and you’re exposed to the elements. Senses are heightened, and every sight and sound is much more vivid and tangible than it is when you’re commuting by car. And this is all the more reason why you need to take road safety seriously.
Most people who own a bike know how to fix a small engine, or will notice a problem when it arises. Some motorcycle owners, however, do not.
If you own a bike, you should make it a priority to learn effective maintenance and to also learn how to perform small engine repairs. Otherwise you’ll end up paying quite a bit of money over the years for maintenance and tune-ups.
In addition, if you break down on the roadside, this can not only be a hassle, but a safety concern as well. It’s hard enough to spot a stopped motorist on the roadside when you’re traveling 70 miles an hour or more. And it’s even harder to spot a stopped bike.
If you know how to fix a motorcycle, an uneventful roadside breakdown can be easily handled or avoided through preventative maintenance or if you know your way around an engine. Additionally, ensure that you have adequate roadside assistance coverage on your insurance policy. If not, shop around and compare insurance quotes. This is something you want to do whether shopping for car insurance or motorcycle insurance in general.
Wear a Helmet
While many states and cities do require a motorcyclist to wear a helmet, there are many that don’t require them. And even though riding without a helmet can be an exhilarating experience, it’s also a dangerous one.
A helmet will protect your head in the event of a collision, but they also do much more.
Some helmets are simple, and offer no vision protection. But your better helmets come equipped with a face shield and chin covering. These helmets are the best for blocking road debris which can get thrown up off of the road by the tires of other motorists.
Objects like rocks, nails, rubber, and even insects can all impact you and cause an accident while riding a motorcycle, so it becomes a best practice to ride a bike with a full helmet and face shield.
But if you’re not going to wear a helmet, at least use protective eyewear.
Know Your Limits
One thing that a motorcycle is synonymous with is intense speed and take-off power. You can reach high speeds quickly on a motorcycle, and this can be deadly, especially if you’re a new rider.
Each rider needs to know his or her limitations when on a bike. For example, where you might be able to lean into turns at a specific speed, not every turn is the same. And you’ll be doing yourself a favor by slowing down into turns on high speed roadways.
In addition to knowing your own skill level while on a bike, you also need to learn proper safety practices for operating near other vehicles. And perhaps the main one is to keep a healthy distance between yourself and other motorists.
Riding a bike is often described as a joyful experience by bike owners. But this type of road travel comes with a great responsibility. You have to be engaged with the road, and with everyone you’re traveling around. But above all, you have to remember one thing; just because you’re aware of other motorists, doesn’t mean that they’re aware of you.