Motorcycles are a more popular mode of transport than ever, with eight percent of American households now having a motorbike. If you’re a new motorcycle owner, you probably can’t wait to hit the road!
Yet motorcycle safety is crucial, and it’s not something that you learn all at once. As a new rider, you might not know everything you need to do to stay safe on the road.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important motorcycle safety tips that can help you enjoy your new bike while avoiding dangers. If you’re new to motorcycles, this guide is a must-read.
Are you ready to learn more? Then read on!
Wear a Helmet
In most, but not all, states, it is illegal to ride a motorbike without a helmet. If you live in one of the few states where you don’t need to wear a helmet, we would still strongly recommend that you do so.
Riding a motorcycle without a helmet increases your risk of brain damage or death in the event of an accident, so the investment in a helmet is well worth it.
While some like to wear an open-face helmet, particularly in warmer weather, we would recommend that you wear a full-face helmet with a visor. These will not only help protect your face in the event of a crash, but they will also offer some protection from any debris that flies up off the road surface, which could otherwise cause injuries.
Check the Weather
At some point, you’re going to get caught in the rain. While this is far from the end of the world, riding a motorbike in the rain can be tricky for a new rider. Your wheels will have far less traction and visibility will be obscured by the rain.
Getting experience riding in the rain can be helpful, but it’s best that it doesn’t happen during a long ride when you’re far from home. If you’re planning a long trip, we’d recommend that you check the weather forecast for your area and make sure that the weather is going to be clear.
While this isn’t necessary for shorter trips, you should still make sure that you’re prepared for poor weather.
Don’t Assume Drivers or Riders Have Seen You
Motorcycles are far smaller than cars, which can make them quite hard to spot. This is particularly true in poor weather or at night. Trucks are also notorious for their blind spots, which can make spotting motorcyclists difficult.
You should work under the assumption that you’re invisible to other drivers. This means that when you’re pulling out of an intersection or merging into traffic, you should leave yourself room to stop or take evasive action as required, which means giving more room to cars and trucks.
If you get into an accident, read the law and know your rights.
Stay Alert While You Ride
Distracted driving is a serious danger for drivers, and when you’re on a motorcycle with fewer protections from the outside world, distractions can be an even bigger danger. So, you should stay focused at all times, yet what does this mean in practice?
First off, avoid trying to multi-task while you ride. It doesn’t matter whether you have those sweet Bluetooth earphones and you want to change tracks or take a call. If you want to take a phone call or switch up your playlist, pull over into a safe area and do it there.
Don’t let your mind drift off while you’re riding your bike: concentrate on the road and nothing else. This is especially important when you’re doing a maneuver that could be significantly dangerous such as overtaking.
You should also watch the road surface, too. Potholes are an annoyance in a car, but on a motorcycle, they can cause serious accidents. If the road surface looks bad, avoid this road and take another one.
Never Ride Intoxicated
We’ve all heard not to drive drunk, yet many people still do. You should never ride intoxicated, no matter whether you’re a veteran rider or a brand new one, it endangers you and everyone else on the road.
You should also avoid smoking weed or consuming any other drugs, other than ones that do not affect concentration and have been prescribed to you, if you’re going to ride a motorcycle.
You need to be completely focused while you ride and drugs have a huge impact on your ability to focus. Don’t endanger your life or the lives of those around you by being irresponsible.
Motorcycle accident attorneys have pointed out that drunk driving is one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States. No one should try to get on a motorcycle after being intoxicated. The risks as compared to a vehicle are far more and much more dangerous in nature.
Don’t Try Modifying Your Bike If You Don’t Know What the Mod Does
Modifying your bike can be great fun, but you need to know what you’re doing. This doesn’t apply to purely aesthetic modifications: respraying your bike or adding some decals doesn’t change anything important, obviously.
We’re talking about modifying your brakes, engine, suspension, or anything else that will have a significant material impact on the way your bike handles. If you’re going to modify these components, you need to have some knowledge of how they will affect your bike and any extra steps that you’ll need to take to stay safe.
You shouldn’t modify your bike until you’ve gained some serious experience, ideally over the course of a few years.
Don’t Break the Speed Limit
Look, it’s easy to think that you can edge over the speed limit a little, especially if you’ve got a powerful bike (which you shouldn’t if it’s your first). The speed limits are in place to protect you and everyone else on the road.
If you break the speed limit you’re not only putting other people in danger, you’ll also find it harder to come to a stop and to control your bike when cornering. Always stick to the speed limit.
Having Fun as a New Motorcycle Owner
If you follow these rules and all other traffic laws, you’ll have a great time as a new motorcycle owner. Stay safe, use common sense, and remember how vulnerable you are. And if your loved one decides to become motorcycle rider, take care of them by advising additional safety measures. for example, become their emergency contact in a safety alert app.
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