Many people are drawn to motorcycles, for one reason or another. Some enjoy the culture and heritage associated with motorcycles; others like the freedom and thrilling experience of riding on a bike and feeling the wind against their body. Regardless of the reason, statistics show that there are plenty of motorcycle riders out there, young and old, all across the US.
Unfortunately, while riding a motorcycle might be thrilling and fun, it can also be quite dangerous. Statistics show that close to 5,000 people are killed in motorcycle accidents every single year, while thousands more are injured each week.
Riding a bike clearly affords people less protection than those who choose to drive cars or larger vehicles, and advancements in safety equipment and technology for motorcycle riders have also been lagging behind when compared to car and truck safety. This is why bike riders have to be extra careful and take all necessary precautions in order to keep themselves safe.
Safety Attire and Equipment
The first and most obvious step to follow when it comes to staying safe on a motorcycle is to get yourself equipped with proper safety attire and accessories. This includes a helmet, gloves, pads, and so on, with the helmet being the most important item of them all. Wearing a helmet can massively improve your odds of not only surviving a crash but getting out relatively unharmed.
Reports show that those who ride bikes without helmets are up to 27 times more likely to die in accidents, so be sure to buy a high-quality helmet that fits properly and offers good visibility, along with investing in other safety items and accessories to protect the rest of your body. This way, even if an accident does happen, the odds of getting out unscathed will be on your side.
Eyes on the Road
One advantage of riding a bike when compared to driving a car or SUV is that you have a wider field of vision, free to look around and see the road around you without the frame of a car or truck blocking your view. Bikes don’t really have blind spots, so there’s really no excuse for not keeping your eyes on the road around you and being aware of your surroundings.
Alertness and observation are key skills for bikers to develop. Other vehicles are bigger and stronger than you, and you’ll usually be much more at risk if a collision occurs when compared to a car driver, for example, so it’s vital to keep your eyes on the road and avoid any distractions or lapses in concentration.
Follow the Rules
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating and reinforcing the importance of always following the rules of the road. Motorcycle riders may sometimes feel like certain rules don’t apply to them, feeling free to weave in and out of traffic and around certain hazards more freely and easily than a car or van.
However, the rules exist for a reason, and it’s imperative that you follow them. Always stick to the speed limit, avoid passing other vehicles on the right, and so on. By following the rules of the road, not only will you be keeping yourself and any passengers you happen to have safe, but you’ll also be setting a good example for other drivers and bikers around you as well.
Avoid Road Rage
It’s very easy to get angry as a motorcycle rider, especially when you see how other road users sometimes fail to provide adequate distance between themselves and your bike or seem to treat you as less important. However, allowing yourself to give in to these emotions of anger and rage can be dangerous.
Statistics show that a lot of accidents actually occur due to road rage and many situations are made worse by road users letting their emotions get the best of them. Instead of getting angry and making rash decisions that could endanger yourself and others, try to remain calm and collected. It might be a challenge sometimes, but it’s definitely the safest course of action.
Bike ownership is on the rise across the US and riding motorbikes remains fun and thrilling for many people, but it’s important for every rider to acknowledge and understand the risks they face every time they hit the road. Keep the above tips in mind the next time you start riding in order to improve your odds of avoiding accidents and staying safe for future journeys.