There’s no denying that motorcycles are cool, fun, and fuel-efficient. But it’s also true that riding a motorcycle is more risky than driving a car. Although you can learn a lot about motorcycle safety from a safety course, there’s still a lot to be learned through experience that you might not pick up in a safety course.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a motorcycle crash is almost 30 times more likely to be fatal than a car crash. To help you stay on the safe side of riding, here are 10 ways to keep your rides incident-free:
- Ride with people who you trust that also know how to ride
This might sound like a no-brainer, but be sure to ask yourself if the person you are going to ride with knows what they’re doing. You don’t want to get on a bike with someone who doesn’t know how to handle it.
- Be seen
While brown and black clothing is very common, it is not your friend on the road. The more you blend in, the less other people will be able to see you. When riding a motorcycle, be sure to wear bright colors such as neon yellow, orange, etc. You can even get a nylon mesh vest with neon reflective taping to stand out during the day and night.
- Wear the right gear
Something that most people don’t think about when riding a motorcycle is wearing the right gloves. Look for thinner leather gloves; these give better control. If you’re riding in the winter, look for heated grips to keep your hands warm. As for clothing, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Go for extreme protection by wearing leather or reinforced jackets, pants, and boots. Glasses of goggles are also a great idea if you have an open-faced helmet. This goes without saying, but never ride without a DOT-approved helmet.
- Never ride tired, angry, or distracted
One of the biggest dangers to a rider is getting on your bike in the wrong state of mind. Riding tired, angry or distracted can be a recipe for disaster. If your mind and emotions are anywhere other than the road ahead, you are susceptible to making rookie mistakes that can end in a crash, injuries or worse.
- Leave room for an escape route
When driving a motorcycle, be sure to always have a clear escape route at all times. When you come to a signal and stop, stay in gear and watch the traffic coming up behind you.
- Always look where you want to go
If you’re looking at a curb while driving, you’re more likely to hit said curb. The same applies for other areas on the road. Always look for a clear spot in front of you, this will help you go where you want to go safely and confidently.
- Be wary of semi trucks
Avoid riding right next to semi trucks. Large trucks can cause wind turbulence and other drivers may have trouble seeing a motorcycle around a large vehicle. When you go to pass a semi truck, be sure to get in their mirror so they know that you’re there.
- Stay in your comfort zone
Staying in your comfort zone when riding your motorcycle will help you ride safely and confidently. You can do this by knowing your abilities and making sure that neither your chosen route nor motorcycle is more than you can handle. Make sure that your bike fits you – your feet should be able to rest flat on the ground when you’re seated. And if you’re in a group and they’re riding faster than you are comfortable with, stay back and go your own speed.
- Inspect your ride
Glance over your bike before every ride. You should be checking your tire pressure, mirrors, and light. Taking a quick walk around your bike will give you an idea if there are any loose bolts, leaks or other potential mechanical hazards. You also need to be diligent about regular care and maintenance. Don’t delay any messages your bike sends you!
- Know the forecast
Being aware of the weather before you head out can prevent any unnecessary accidents. Not only do you have half of the stability of a car, but the lack of a windshield and your body’s exposure to rain can add to the risk when driving. Lack of visibility is a rider’s worst nightmare and until you’ve been caught on your bike in the rain, you will never understand how much being pelted by raindrops at 50 or every 30 miles per hour can hurt!
When all is said and done, it boils down to this: wear your gear, know your bike, and know your abilities. You can’t control your environment but you can control how you react to it. Whether you just bought your motorcycle or have been riding for years, you’ll want to make sure that you have auto insurance. Contact our team at Webb Insurance Group so we can help you find the best policy for you!