Each spring and summer many people look forward to taking out their motorcycle and enjoying the gentle breeze and open feel of the road. If you are a new driver, before you take to the streets and highways there are some safety tips and hazards you should know about.
Unlike a car, SUV or truck, a motorcycle has no shield to cover you. This leaves you exposed not only to the elements, bugs and debris but also to oncoming and merging traffic. As a result, motorcycles make up nearly 20 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. According to the Traffic Safety Facts published in May of 2015, in 2013, the number of fatalities while driving or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle was 4,668. Below are some things to consider to help you avoid accidents altogether.
1) What to do if you are in an accident:
The motorcycle accident experts at Siegfried & Jensen, remind us that if you are the victim of a traffic accident, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. If the injuries sustained are serious, you should contact a reputable law firm with years of experience to make sure your physical and financial needs are taken care of.
2) Get the right bike:
Having the right machine for you is important. Just because the big power bike in the showroom window is calling your name, doesn’t mean you will be safe riding it if you can’t handle it. Be realistic, especially for a new rider. The right bike also requires the right insurance as well.
3) Make sure you have the right gear:
To stay safe and comfortable while riding you need to have the right garments and hardware. There are several articles of clothing and protective gear you should not leave home without. The most important piece is the helmet. It protects your head and neck from serious injuries in the event of an accident. This can mean the difference between life and death. It should include a visor and comply with the DOT standards. Also, closed toe shoes, a waterproof jacket and hearing protection will help make the experience more enjoyable.
4) Stay alert:
The average motorist is less likely to spot a motorcycle approaching than another motor vehicle. Because of this, it’s important to take precautions and remain aware of your surroundings when entering into traffic. Keeping your distance and avoiding tailgating will allow other drivers to see you clearly. Also, while your bike may be small enough to squeeze through traffic and create your own lane, this is not only illegal, but it can put you in harm’s way. You may not have the same distractions as riding in a car or truck, but taking your eyes off the road for a second can prove to be life-threatening. Potholes and uneven roads are not something to take lightly. Your bike is fun to drive; however, aggressive driving or driving out of your comfort zone can cause your bike to swerve in ways you never imagined. It’s in your best interest to follow the rules that apply to every motor vehicle.
In addition to safe driving, you should also perform regular maintenance. Things like checking the oil, gears, tire pressure and chain pressure. Also, if you store your bike outdoors you should also take a cloth and brush over it to remove any debris or bugs before climbing aboard.
Owning a motorcycle can give you a feeling of freedom. There are no restrictive doors or windows, just you and the open road. So long as you stay alert, follow the law and take the necessary precautions, you can enjoy this experience with less chance of accident or injury.