The sun is shining, there’s a nice cool breeze and you can’t see a cloud for miles. It’s time to hop on your motorcycle and go for a ride. If you decide to take out the bike on the open road, make sure you’re feeling up for it. In all driving situations, especially on a motorcycle, being in control and aware are extremely important. If you’re feeling down, ill or impaired, it’s best to leave the bike at home.
Riding is a great hobby, and a way of life for some, but too often, safety is not at the forefront of their mind and that’s when tragedy can strike. Follow these tips to help yourself avoid a crash that could turn your life upside down or even end it.
Practice panic mode
Motorcycles can be temperamental machines. It’s important to understand how to correctly shift your weight. Though it also takes a knee-jerk reaction and can lead to issues, acting in a panic is easier in a car or truck due to the anti-lock brakes in most vehicles.
While driving your bike, that isn’t always an option, which increases the need to stay aware and adjust your weight correctly. In a panic situation, motorcyclists must twist their bodies while simultaneously finding balance between braking and steering to avoid a crash or keep themselves from flying over the handlebars. Practice driving in a simulated emergency in an empty parking lot to get the hang of weight distribution and to understand all the nuances of your bike.
Wear high visibility clothing
In 2016, motorcyclist fatalities totaled over 5,000. That equated to over 60 fatalities per 100,000 registered riders. That may seem like a small amount, but according to the New York Times and on behalf of seeker.com, motorcyclists only total 1% of all drivers on the road. To add to your safety while on the road, wear a helmet. But also, due to bikes being small and often in the blind spot of another vehicle, do yourself a favor and wear high-visibility clothing or a safety vest. It may not look cool but it’s much easier to see than only a black jacket and may save your life.
Speed limits have a purpose
There is no doubt that speeding is a contributing factor in many traffic crashes. Many motorcyclists like to go fast; zooming in and out of traffic. When you do this, you are putting your own life at risk. Cars and trucks are much bigger than your bike. One slip-up or a lack of concentration can be the difference between life, death or a multitude of lifelong medical issues.
Inspect the intersection
On behalf of those other cars and trucks on the road and at the intersection, they also contribute to reckless and unsafe driving. People are always in a hurry which can lead to irrational decision-making, especially at intersections. Look in all directions as often as you can when crossing an intersection as a motorcyclist. You never know who is going to want to run that yellow light right before or after it turns red.
Though these tips are great precautions to follow to and can help you stay safe, accidents are unavoidable at times. If you find yourself as a victim of a crash that led to personal injury, don’t fight it alone. The right representation can make all the difference.