Motorcycles are cool. It’s easy to see why people love operating them and riding on them as passengers. No matter how high the coolness factor of a two-wheeled vehicle, they simply are not as safe as cars. For some, that lack of safety is part of the appeal.
Motorcycles have the capability to travel as fast as cars. Depending on what type of motorcycle you prefer, you may even be able to outpace a car. Unfortunately, they do not have the same exterior frame that can absorb the shock of a crash. In an impact, the force is directly absorbed by the bike and the riders. Without seatbelts, it is not uncommon for riders to be thrown. Lastly, motorcycles are not as stable as cars with a four-wheeled base.
Riding a motorcycle doesn’t mean you have to constantly think about cheating death. While they are inherently less safe than cars and trucks, there are several things that can be done to make them as safe as they possibly can be.
The most important thing you can do when riding a motorcycle is to strap on a helmet. Helmets are designed to protect your head. Injuries to the head are typically what kill motorcycle riders in a crash. Look for helmets that are approved by the Department of Transportation as they meet and often exceed minimum safety standards.
Make sure that the helmet fits properly. A full-fact helmet is the safest option, but any approved helmet is better than none. If you ignore every motorcycle safety tip there is…don’t ignore this one.
This tip is aimed at people behind the wheel of vehicles. Always keep an eye out for motorcycles. Two-wheeled vehicles are small and can be difficult to see. Look twice and keep your ears open. Check your blind spot before you change lanes, look again before you cross an intersection, and take an extra second to roll down your window to be sure you don’t hear the loud exhaust of a bike.
One of the best things about having a bike is the ability to give someone a ride. Especially for the first time. Keeping your passenger safe is as much your responsibility as it is theirs. If your passenger has never ridden on a motorcycle before, take the time to teach them about safety.
If you have never driven with a passenger on the back of your bike, don’t assume that it is the same as riding alone. Take your passenger to a parking lot and practice driving. Get a feel for how the bike handles with the extra weight.
Always know what the weather is expected to throw at you before you head out on the road. If you cannot avoid riding during or after a rain storm, be extra cautious. The roads will be slick and the way your motorcycle handles will be slightly different than it is on dry roads.
Always leave enough stopping distance between yourself and the car in front of you. You may need less stopping room than a vehicle, but you still need more than you may think. If you are forced to slam on the brakes and your wheels lock up, you can expect to be sliding down the roadway on the side of your bike.
Driving any type of vehicle while distracted isn’t a good idea. Whether a car or a motorcycle, remember that your job is to drive and only to drive. Do not wear earbuds or headphones, don’t fiddle with your phone, and keep your eyes on the road.
Just like driving a car, learning how to expertly drive a bike takes time and practice. Know your skill level and operate your bike accordingly. Take the time to build your skill set before you try to outdrive your more experienced friends.
Never wear sandals or other open-toed shoes while riding on a motorcycle. Road debris kicked up can be painful. Exhaust systems can burn. Smooth soles make it hard to keep your balance. Wear boots or shoes with rugged soles for the highest amount of safety.
Bikers don’t wear lots of leather to look tough. They wear it because it offers the most protection in an accident. If you can’t afford leather gear, at least wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts when riding. Having your skin covered may not protect you if you get in an accident, but they can reduce the sting if you get hit by a rock or insect.
Don’t skip out on an approved safety course. Even if it is not a requirement of your state, a motorcycle safety course can give you the knowledge and skills you need to ride your bike the correct way. The experienced instructors can give you tips on maintenance and more. Even better, once you graduate from a motorcycle safety course, you can call your insurance agent and ask about any discounts that are available.
If you want to avoid a motorcycle accident in West Palm Beach, following these safety tips is your best bet. While nothing can prevent an accident entirely, your chances of being involved in a crash are greatly reduced when you follow safety procedures. If you are involved in an accident and need an attorney, reach out to our offices. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you. Call now.