Are you fond of vehicles? Some people obsess over vintage cars, while others prefer a thrilling motorcycle experience. It is no secret that motorcycles are fun, exciting, and fuel-efficient. It gives a feeling of power and freedom to showcase riding skills anytime, anywhere. You can ride to work, college, or make some daring moves on the racing tracks. After all, the experience of an open-air ride is second to none.
At the same time, riding a motorcycle is relatively safer than driving a car. Even though the road laws are the same for all drivers, operating a motorcycle takes different skills than driving a car. The majority of vehicles you find on roads are cars, vans, and trucks. Since bikes are limited and small, many drivers don’t see them while changing lanes or crossing pathways, increasing chances of accidents.
Usually, they happen because other drivers violate motorcyclist’s right of way since they fail to predict motorcycle movements. With better safety protocols and practices, you can stay on the safe side of riding, while mitigating risks. If you are looking to inject life into your existence or want a little adventure to mundane without safety concerns, look below.
Here is all you should know about motorcycle safety.
TAKE A SAFETY COURSE
Whether you want to use a motorcycle for the daily commute or keep it for rides on the weekend – taking a safety course is mandatory. Alongside making the route safer, it equips you with all the road rules for motorcycles. It helps you learn crucial moves to assist you in riding defensively. Similarly, the course will educate about the appropriate actions to take in unpredictable riding situations. It teaches you how to seek legal help for injured motorcyclists to cover losses and medical bills.
Moreover, safety courses offer a trial run on the real road to judge your riding skills. It takes place in a controlled environment, meaning you will get instructions during each step. Besides, in some areas, you can’t qualify for a motorcycle license without passing the safety course and knowledge exam.
Everyone wants to look cool like a superhero from an action movie when riding a motorcycle, but this is not a priority. Even if the sun is scorching outside, you can’t ride a bike in shorts and t-shirts with sandals. You have to pick clothes that provide maximum protection against injuries and road rash. You can invest in gear designed for summers to promote ventilation and cooling. It has to include a protective jacket, boots, and goggles if you have an open face helmet.
Even if it makes you look funny, never ride without a DOT-approved helmet because it can save you from brain injuries. Whereas for racing tracks, you have to gear up with elbow and knee pads, ankle support, safety goggles, and gloves.
CHECK WEATHER FORECASTS
The dangers of wet and oily roads can multiply when you are riding a motorcycle. Unless you got caught on your bike in the rain, you wouldn’t understand how much raindrops can hurt. It doesn’t have the stability of a car, nor a windshield, meaning driving in the rain is impossible. The lack of visibility becomes a nightmare for riders, exposing them to risky situations. Therefore, keep track of weather forecasts by setting rain or storm alerts on your smartphone.
LEARN HAND GESTURES
Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t have multiple lights to give different signals. As a result, motorcyclists use hand gestures to communicate on the road. Before landing the two-wheeler on trails, make sure you have the knack of following gestures.
- Right, Turn – You have to take the arm out, bent it at 90-degree angle with fist clenched.
- Left Turn – Extend your left hand with palm facing downwards.
- Stop – Put your arm straight down and make your palm face backward.
- Turn Signal On – Open your hand and extend the fingers.
- Cops Ahead – Tap on the top of your helmet.
- Comfort Stop – Extend forearm and clench your fist upwards and downwards.
Proper communication increases visibility, helping others to recognize your intentions accurately.
STUDY THE ROUTE
Are you planning a road trip on a motorcycle? It is quite an experience to discover the world on two wheels, but you have to study the routes in-dept. Inspect the roads to see whether it would be a bumpy or smooth ride. Check if there are any lanes dedicated to motorcycles, the speed limits, and lay-bys on the route. It would help you take all necessary safety precautions and gear up for the trip properly. Some roads require more than essential safety gear, and learning about the route will let you have a smooth journey.
INSPECT YOUR RIDE
People usually ignore inspections since they judge their motorcycle by its appearance. Surprisingly, a fine-looking vehicle can be on the verge of breaking down. Therefore, give your bike a good once-over before hitting the road. Take a walk around it to catch sight of loose bolts, leaks, or anything mechanical hazards. Similarly, check the tire pressure, mirrors, and light before every single ride. Don’t skimp on monthly maintenance schedules, which includes oil changing, chain, and suspension adjustments. It secures the vehicle against wear and tears while eliminating hazards.
OBEY TRAFFIC RULES
It might appear like a no-brainer, but many motorcyclists fail to acknowledge the traffic rules. They slide their small vehicle between cars to make their way out, which can be super dangerous. To ensure safety, here is a list of core traffic safety rules.
- Stay in your lane and share the road with other drivers.
- Be extra careful with the intersection, especially during the rush hours.
- Check your blind spots.
- Look right and left before changing lanes.
- Follow the speed limit.
BE CAUTIOUS WITH MAINTAINING DISTANCE
Most roads are always busy, meaning you have to ride with heavy traffic flow. Instead of trying to make your way out, you have to maintain a safe distance from vehicles. Usually, bikes don’t have anti-lock brakes, leaving you at the risk of losing control in emergencies. Therefore, stay at least four seconds away from the vehicle in front of you, allowing you to stop calmly in the case of sudden breaks.
KEEP A CHECK ON SPEED
With increasing accidents, you can find more speed limit boards around the roads. Every route has a different speed limit, and you have to abide by it. These are for the safety of drivers to close doors for accidents and injuries. If you look at the stats, 48% motorcyclists lost their lives due to excessive speeding. Besides, if the road is wide empty, use your common sense while making judgments on the speed. If there are multiple turns and bends, it is best to keep a slow pace to avoid any slips or other surprises. Limit your speed to a level where you can confidently control the bike because you can experiment moves on roads.
EDUCATE YOUR PASSENGER
If you have a passenger onboard, familiarize them with all the necessary safety rules. Explain to them how to behave on the road and sit tight at all times. They shouldn’t be trying any stunts, which can prove dangerous for the driver and passenger. Likewise, they don’t have to look behind or bend down as the motorcycle can lose balance with these sudden movements. Above all, ensure the passenger is wearing safety gear with a helmet and goggles.
Safe riding practices and cooperation from the drivers help in reducing road accidents and fatalities. Simultaneously, motorcyclists have to show responsibility by taking all the safety precautions to escape the threat of disasters. Ride with courtesy, awareness, and don’t retaliate with inconsiderate drivers as it can overwhelm your judgment.