Motorcycle accidents are usually severe because of the exposed position of the driver. As a result, safety precautions are of the utmost importance for motorcyclists. Accident avoidance means knowing the limits of the equipment, following the rules of the road, being aware of your surroundings, and making sure the bike is always in proper running condition.
Know What Your Vehicle Can Do
Before operating a motorcycle, gain a good understanding of the bike. Know your model’s power, it’s suspension system, and its list of equipment. Some motorcycles are specially manufactured for off-road performance while others are intended only for street use.
Every model of motorcycle comes with a list of specifications detailing such things as maximum speed, rider weight capacity, and whether the bike can be fitted properly with luggage. Overloaded bikes are the cause of thousands of accidents annually.
Proper Vehicle Operation
Motorcycle are more nimble and able to change speed and direction more quickly than a car. Drivers often have less time to determine the speed and relative motion of a motorcyclist, so it is up to the bike rider to follow the highway rules to the letter.
Always follow the speed limits when operating a motorcycle. Slow down at intersections and make sure that the vehicle is not traveling faster than the nearby cars. Half of all accidents involving a motorcycle occur at arterial intersections.
Always use the turn signals, even when traveling at very low speeds. Never drive on the shoulder, even if the bike is equipped with off-road performance tires. Think about the blind spots for car drivers and try to avoid them. Remember to wear light-colored clothing. This makes it much easier for drivers to spot a motorcyclist. Most important of all, wear the proper sized helmet.
Helmets should fit snugly and not swivel. They should be DOT approved, meaning that they meet or exceed federal regulation standards for motorcycle headgear. Always wear the helmet, even if the law does not require it.
Proper Maintenance and Vehicle Inspection
Faulty equipment one of the leading causes of accidents involving a motorcycle. The driver has very little time to react to malfunctioning brakes, engine stalls, or worn cables. If the bike has not been ridden for a while, always check the fluid levels and replace old oil or lubricants.
All lights should be tested on a regular basis. The mirrors should be checked for proper positioning before starting up the vehicle. Always make sure the chain is properly lubed, especially if the bike has not been ridden for some time.
Consider a Refresher Course
Many different agencies and schools offer short road safety courses. Some of these are free, and others are offered to high school students. These rider training courses are often taught by professional drivers or law enforcement personnel who are themselves expert motorcyclists.
These motorcycle safety tips can help you ride safer and greatly reduce the probability of a serious motorcycle accident. Having proper insurance coverage and making sure that the bike is registered and licensed are also vital to responsible motorcycle ownership.