Safety is a must for motorcycle riders and enthusiasts alike, given the hazards associated with this vehicle. In fact, statistics show that motorcyclists are more prone to accidents and serious injuries compared to drivers of other vehicles. Motorcycle safety refers to the practices and precautions taken to protect riders from risks while using motorcycles on the road. It encompasses multiple safety aspects, from rider behavior and protective gear to motorcycle maintenance and compliance with traffic laws.
This article is American Motorcycle Training’s attempt at creating a comprehensive guide to motorcycle safety.
Using protective gear is the single most effective way to protect yourself on the road. Donning the appropriate helmet, gloves, jacket, pants, and boots greatly reduces the impact of falls and collisions on your body and safeguards you from head injuries, burns, fractures, and abrasions. Make sure to choose a protective gear that meets safety standards and fits you well.
It may be tempting to jump on your motorcycle and ride off without another thought, but it’s important to make sure your bike is in good condition before you hit the road. Experts recommend conducting a quick pre-ride inspection before each trip. Make sure both tires are in good condition before starting a ride. Give your lights a once-over, too, making sure your headlamp, brake lights, and turn signals are working. Check for cracks in gussets and make sure there’s no damage to accessory mounts. Test your levers and pedals, too, to ensure they are properly adjusted and have no bends or cracks.
Defensive riding skills are a must for any motorcycle rider, as it helps them anticipate and avoid potential hazards on the road. Not only does it lower the chances of crashes, but it also reduces maintenance and repair costs resulting from these accidents. Stay focused on the road. Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for pedestrians on the road, and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Anticipate the actions of other drivers. Use turn signals to alert other drivers of your movement. Finally, check your blind spots before changing lanes or making turns.
Maintenance and Inspections
Inspections and maintenance help keep your motorcycle in good condition and ensure it’s safe to use. Periodically carrying them out reduces the risk of mechanical failures that can result in avoidable accidents. Before each ride, make sure to check the brakes, tires, lights, and other critical components.
it is recommended that you change your oil at least once per year. Regularly clean your air filter with compressed air. If you have a fuel filter, make sure it is clean and unclogged. To extend the life of your battery, keep it charged to 100% when not in use
Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, strong winds, fog, or snow, expose motorcyclists to additional hazards. Slippery surfaces, reduced visibility, and poor traction can compromise the safety of riders, especially if they aren’t careful. In the spring and fall, it’s not uncommon to see significant drops in temperature when the sun goes down. And riding when you can’t feel your fingers is nothing short of miserable.
But just like life, the weather can be unpredictable. Even the best forecasts aren’t reliable 100% of the time. Blue skies one minute can transform into a torrential downpour the next. And when you’re on a motorcycle, you’re exposed to everything Mother Nature throws your way. Ride safe, so that you can ride long!