Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating pastime for riders. But whether you are new to the hobby or have been riding for decades, you must do everything in your power to keep yourself and other vehicles on the road safe. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely as car occupants to die in a motor vehicle accident, and most of the time, it’s the car driver’s fault.
Because motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the road than the average car, they must take extra precautions to avoid potentially dangerous collisions. The next time you’re out for a ride, here are a few ways you can ensure you stay safe no matter who you’re sharing the road with:
Get the proper training
Riding a motorcycle isn’t anything like driving a car – it requires a great deal of balance, strength and coordination at high speeds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents in 2017 didn’t have a valid motorcycle license. Having the right training and riding skills is one of the most effective ways to ride safely.
Stay visible on the roads
Reflective and brightly colored gear is a must for motorcyclists. Often when a motorist collides with a motorcyclist, they fail to see the rider on the road. You can increase your chances of being seen by other drivers by wearing noticeable gear, driving in the center of your lane and using your horn if you suspect a driver doesn’t see you.
Always wear protective gear
It should go without saying, but wearing the right protective gear like a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) can be the difference between life and death on the road. If all motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents in 2017 had been wearing a helmet, an additional 749 people would still be alive.
You can help to reduce your risk of accidents on your bike by abiding by local traffic laws and riding defensively. Riding defensively means driving predictably and using caution when sharing the road with other vehicles. Some examples of driving defensively would always be using your turn signal and checking behind you before changing lanes, yielding at intersections and watching for pedestrians.
Riding a motorcycle is a fun adrenaline rush, but it isn’t without its risks. By doing your part to share the road responsibly, you can ensure you can safely enjoy your hobby for years to come.