Motorcycle Safety Month is a great time to remember how to be as safe as you can be on the road; whether you ride a motorcycle or not.
If you ride a motorcycle:
Drive defensively- Defensive driving is extremely important when driving a motorcycle. It is best to ride your motorcycle as if the others drivers might not see you. Think preventatively and avoid blind spots. Drive where you have enough room to be reactive and swerve safely if necessary. If you’re riding on a highway, this is most easily achieved in the left lane, close to the dividing line.
Wear Safety Gear- If you crash your motorcycle, you have relatively little protection. You should make sure you are wearing protective gear at all times to keep your body as protected as possible. Protective gear and full-faced helmets are a must.
Ride according to your experience level- If you’re just starting out, don’t hop on the biggest bike you can get. The larger the motorcycle, the more difficult it is to handle. The engine in a larger motorcycle is more powerful and an accident could be catastrophic. Make sure you’re only riding a motorcycle that you feel comfortable and experienced enough to ride.
If you’re a driver:
Keep your eyes on the road- When the weather is warmer, be aware that there may be higher numbers of motorcyclists on the roads. Don’t text and drive. Avoid distractions. These tips are always important, but they are even more important when motorcycles are sharing the road with much larger vehicles. If both drivers and motorcyclists are driving defensively, everyone is safer.
Don’t rely on the sound- Motorcycles are often loud, but it’s a myth that you should just pay attention to the sounds to tell that a motorcycle is near. Since vehicle exhaust pipes point toward cars behind the motorcycle, they aren’t likely to help you that much in terms of awareness if a motorcycle is behind you. Many other factors can play a part in not being able to hear the motorcycles around you.
Drive defensively- If both drivers and motorcyclists are driving defensively, everyone is safer. Everyone knows that they can’t control other drivers, but you can be preventative to keep yourself safe on the road despite what other drivers are doing. Check out these Eight Secrets of Super Driving for a refresher on defensive driving.