Motorcycle riding is a fun, exhilarating and convenient form of transportation. Despite the benefits, even the most skilled drivers face the risk of serious accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclist deaths were 27 times more common than deaths in other vehicles in 2014. To reduce your chances of an accident, learn how to be safe while riding.
1. Stay alert
Motorcyclists should practice defensive riding techniques and be aware that motorists may not be paying attention. Anticipate vehicles turning left in front of you and people opening their parked car doors as you pass them. Prepare to take safe evasive action when motorists do not show concern. Always use turn signals before changing lanes. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can always be attentive and ride safely.
2. Increase your visibility
Be proactive at attracting the attention of motorists without being invasive. Visibility tips include the following:
- Wear bright protective gear.
- Apply reflective tape on your motorcycle and clothing.
- Install fog lights and daytime driving lights.
Making your bike and yourself more visible is especially important if you ride during the night. Consider installing a brighter headlamp and LED taillights as well.
3. Avoid blind spots
Apart from the fact that drivers may not be paying attention, they also have significant blind spots. You should be especially mindful of riding near trucks. Their blind spots are so widespread that they are referred to as “no-zones.” Do your best to ensure motorists and truck drivers can see you.
4. Wear a good helmet
One of the most important things you can do is what parents always tell their children when riding bikes: always wear protective gear. Make sure your helmet is DOT-compliant. Even if you are taking a short ride down the block, do not go without your helmet. You never know when accidents will occur, and your helmet can save your life. Cover your arms and legs in protective gear made out of leather or heavy denim.
5. Keep it slow
While you do not have to drive unnecessarily slow, follow traffic laws and avoid speeding. Avoid riding fast especially when the road is wet or icy. Riding a motorcycle can be fun, but you should never ride in a way that creates a higher risk of danger.
Unfortunately, unpredictable circumstances happen. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options and represent you in your quest for compensation.