Sadly, almost 5,000 motorcycle riders are killed on the roads each year in the US. While many cyclists love the adventure and fun of the sport, you need to learn how to ride safely to prevent accidents.
The small size of bikes, compared to cars and trucks, puts motorcyclists at a disadvantage, so it’s important to learn how to ride defensively and safely. With the right precautions, you can protect yourself on the road.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading to find out how to prevent a motorcycle accident when you’re out on your bike.
Reduce Your Speed
Speed is one of the biggest killers on the roads, especially for bikes. While there’s nothing greater than cruising down the highway on your bike, it only takes one wet patch of road or an unexpected curve to send you flying.
If you want to avoid a motorcycle crash, always ride at the speed limit. When conditions are poor, such as fog, low visibility, or rain, you want to slow down more—even better, wait until the weather improves to ride.
Speed is especially important for new riders who are still learning how to handle their bike, so always ride with caution in challenging conditions.
Watch Out for Road Hazards
On a bike, just about anything can be a hazard. You always want to be scanning the road with your eyes, looking for anything on or near the road that could contribute to an accident.
Common hazards include sticks, trash, roadkill, old tires, and debris that might have blown off the back of a truck. Hazards can quickly cause accidents, so always avoid driving over them.
Even better, remove them from the road if you’re able, as this can help other cyclists stay safe.
Perform Regular Bike Maintenance
To keep your bike safe, it needs to be in optimum condition. Many accidents or problems on the road are caused by mechanical or engine problems, so don’t take the risk—have your bike serviced regularly.
Just like your car, your motorcycle needs regular maintenance to keep it running well and functioning at its best. Book your bike for regular services and you’re less likely to see any problems or break-downs.
Don’t Weave In and Out of Traffic
As a cyclist, it can be tempting to get where you’re going quickly by weaving in and out of traffic or parked cars. While car drivers often have to deal with the hassle of traffic, cyclists often cruise between lanes and make their way through the gridlock.
However, this isn’t safe and puts you at risk of an accident. When you’re driving fast and constantly switching lanes, it makes it hard for other drivers to know what to expect from you and to see you.
It’s very easy for cyclists to end up in a driver’s blind spot, meaning they can’t see you. If they don’t know you’re there, this greatly increases your risk of being hit.
Take extra care near parked cars as well when driving. A driver or passenger could open their door at any moment, which could hit your bike and knock you off.
Wear Protective Gear
Wearing the right gear won’t prevent an accident, but it will keep you safe if one happens. Even if you do everything completely perfect as a rider, an accident can still happen, through no fault of your own.
For this reason, you always want to ride in full protective gear, protecting your body. Leathers or full-body protection keeps your skin safe from road rash and a full helmet protects your head.
Gloves can be useful to wear as well, along with closed-toe shoes, eye protection, and warm clothing, especially in winter. The right gear greatly increases your chances of survival in an accident.
Leave Plenty of Distance Between Other Vehicles
Tailgating can be dangerous for both cars and motorcycles, so always leave plenty of space between the car in front of you. If someone is tailgating you, switch lanes or let them pass so that you can get away from them.
If a driver in front of you has to stop suddenly, and you’re right behind them, then you’re not going to have enough space to safely stop—causing a crash. Leave as much space between yourself and other drivers on the road.
If you do happen to be hit by a car, due to their negligence, you might consider contacting a lawyer to discuss your options. This article source can help you learn more about how a motorcycle accident lawyer can help with your case.
Always Ride Sober
Never ride your motorcycle after consuming any drugs or alcohol. It seems obvious, but after a few drinks, it’s easy to make bad decisions.
Drinking slows down our body’s reaction times, meaning you aren’t able to safely ride and control the bike, putting you and others on the road at serious risk.
If you’ve had a few drinks, crash at a friend’s place or get a taxi and pick up your bike the next morning.
Avoid a Motorcycle Accident With These Tips
No one wants to experience a motorcycle accident, so use the tips above to always stay safe on the road.
If you’re a newer rider, you might find that some additional practice sessions or weekend courses can help you improve your skill and confidence. Over time, you’ll become a talented rider, with the knowledge and ability to ride safely.
Enjoy the freedom of the open road—we’ll see you out there!
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