safety tips

8 Motorcycle Safety Tips That New Riders Need To Know

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a huge percentage of motorcycle accidents result in severe injuries or death. In 2018, the number of motorcycle accidents which resulted in fatalities was 4,985.[1] Since motorcycles don’t have the same level of protection that vehicles have, it’s advisable for riders to maintain high standards of safety to avoid fatal accidents. As a rider, these motorcycle safety tips will help you maintain not only your own safety but also the safety of other road users.

Most accidents are unforeseen incidents that are beyond the control of motorcyclists. However, it’s worth noting that avoiding some fatal accidents is possible. Negligence and ignorance are the leading causes of fatal accidents involving motorcycles. This is a very disturbing trend since motorcycle riding is common on all major roads.

While it’s impossible to avoid all accidents, following some basic safety tips can avoid many of them.

Motorcycle Safety Tips That All Riders Should Know And Follow

1. Enroll In A Motorcycle Training Course

Motorcycle training courses are highly valuable to motorcyclists and potential riders. Once you enroll in a course, you’re guaranteed to learn vital safety tips to help you become more aware when riding your bike.

The knowledge that you stand to gain by enrolling in a training course is invaluable because it will equip you on how to be safe while on the road.

Moreover, you’ll learn about the motorcycle laws of your state in regards to safety standards. As a result, you’ll know what is expected of you as a rider. Furthermore, there are skills that you need to keep on developing as a rider, whether you’re a seasoned motorcyclist or a new rider.

Remember, the more knowledge you have about motorcycle safety, the more you can avoid the fatal accidents that some riders get involved in. Therefore, you should inquire about any motorcycle training courses near you to equip you with the necessary tips to remain secure when riding your bike.

2. Ensure You Have The Correct License

Alarmingly, 29% of motorcyclists who were killed in accidents in 2017 did not have a valid motorcycle license. As you would be aware, there are different skills involved in driving a car and riding a motorcycle. This is why it’s vitally important that motorcyclists have a dedicated license before they take to the road. To receive your motorcycle license, you’ll need to pass both a written test and a riding test. However, in some States, you can bypass the riding test if you’ve taken and passed a State-approved rider education course.

3. Always Wear Proper Protective Gear

Since motorcyclists are not protected inside the cabin of a car, when they’re involved in an accident, they’re much more vulnerable to severe injuries. When the human body impacts metal or concrete while traveling at high speeds, the results are never pretty.

Wearing a high-quality helmet is the most important thing you should do when you’re riding and looking at protective equipment. Any helmet is better than no helmet but if you want the best protection, you should look for a carbon fiber helmet. Plus, you should ensure that the helmet you choose meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. You’ll find the DOT symbol on all approved helmets.

Helmet with DOT
Source: https://www.nhtsa.gov/motorcycle-safety/choose-right-motorcycle-helmet

A carbon fiber helmet is hard, to protect you from impacts, but it also flexes under stress to relieve the force of the impact. In addition to a helmet, you should also wear protective boots, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and a jacket. There are even jackets equipped with airbags now that can provide a great deal of protection if you’re in an accident.

The NHTSA states that arms and legs should be completely covered with either garments made from leather or heavy denim. This will ensure that you are adequately protected from such things as road rash if you happen to come off your bike.

4. Avoid Riding After Consuming Alcohol

One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents today is riding under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, if you decide to have a few drinks after work, arrange another way to get home and pick your bike up in the morning.

When you ride your bike under the influence of alcohol, you’re simply putting yourself and other road users at risk. Since alcohol limits your level of alertness, the likelihood of you causing an accident is very high.

Therefore, you have to always make sure that you’re sober when riding your bike. By adhering to this safety tip, you’ll definitely avoid being a victim in a fatal accident.

5. Ride Defensively

Protective equipment is a must, but the best protection for motorcyclists is to avoid being in an accident in the first place. Always obey all of the rules of the road and operate your motorcycle at a speed that allows you to control it. Always be on the lookout for other drivers and also watch out for potential road hazards when you’re riding.

6. Wear Bright-Colored Clothing

One of the main reasons that motorcycle riders are more vulnerable on the road is because they’re smaller and less visible than other cars. That means that other drivers may not be able to see them as easily. And, when you can’t see something on the road you can’t avoid hitting it.

Wearing bright-colored clothing can make you more visible on the road which will reduce your chances of being in an accident.

motorcycle safety tips

7. Don’t Ride During Bad Weather

Riding during rain, snow, or hail is a recipe for disaster. For one thing, when you ride during bad weather, visibility is reduced. This makes the likelihood of an accident increase. The other reason that bad weather is dangerous is the fact that wet and icy roads are slick which makes it harder for drivers and riders to control their vehicles.

If a car can’t stop in time when they see you, then they will end up hitting you. If you can’t stop your bike in time, you will either hit something or end up dropping your bike. In any of these scenarios, your chances of sustaining serious or life-threatening injuries are significant.

8. Maintain Your Bike In Good Working Condition

One of the most important safety tips is ensuring that your motorcycle is in proper working condition at all times. The mistake that many riders make is riding their bikes when they’re faulty or when they lack essential gadgets.

For example, tires should be well inflated and kept in very good condition. When the tires of your motorcycle are not well maintained, it’s easy to cause an accident.

Another aspect of maintaining your bike well is ensuring that the lights on your motorcycle are functioning correctly for the sake of providing the required light at night.

Without this, it’s not possible to see properly when on the road and as a result, you can cause a fatal accident that could have been avoided. Therefore, take the time to ensure that your motorcycle is in great condition before riding it.

Conclusion On Motorcycle Safety Tips

Fatal accidents involving motorcyclists are truly alarming. Hence, it’s highly advisable for riders to be careful about how they conduct themselves. Fundamentally, the safety of riders starts with them taking the required steps to maintain the standards of safety expected of them.

They have to learn and adhere to motorcycle safety laws to protect not only themselves but also other road users. Indeed, it takes a deliberate decision to practice these essential safety tips in order to stay safe on the road.

Sources:

[1] https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety#2296

 

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