Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience. Aside from soaring through the air like a bird, it is one of the most liberating forms of transportation.
More people are turning to motorcycles for fun and independence. Motorcycles are the fastest-growing mode of transport for both commuting and recreational use. But, there is always a risk with motorcycles of an accident occurring.
Driving defensively is crucial for motorcycle riding. So, if you are a rider or plan on becoming one, read on. In the following sections, we will highlight road safety tips for motorcycle riders.
1. Wear the Right Gear
Wearing the right gear is an essential road safety tip for motorcycle riders. Motorcycle riders should invest in a quality helmet that fits properly, breathable and comfortable riding pants, durable gloves, and boots that cover the ankles.
To protect against the elements and debris, a face shield or eye protection should also be worn. Not only is this protective gear necessary for safety, as it will protect riders if they crash, but it will also protect them from burn injuries that can result from close contact with the exhaust pipes.
Additionally, riders should avoid wearing loose clothing like hoodies and baggy pants, as they can get caught on the moving parts of the bike, significantly increasing the risk of an accident.
Other essential riding gear includes a reflective jacket to keep you visible to other road users and leathers covering your arms and legs, providing further protection in case of an accident or slide—eye protection to guard against sun, wind, rain, and insects.
It’s also a good idea to wear clothing with bright colors and reflective strips, helping you become more visible to other road users. Selecting and wearing the right gear can save your skin and be the difference between life and death.
2. Utilize Proper Hand Signals
This means using the correct hand signals when turning, merging, stopping, and changing lanes. A motorcycle rider should hold out their left arm to indicate a left turn, extending the arm straight and pointing upward. Hand signals should also be given when merging with traffic, stopping, or changing lanes.
One should raise one arm to indicate when they are about to change lanes, motioning toward the intended lane change. Lastly, riders should rest their arm on the handlebar and point their arm and index finger downwards when coming to a complete stop.
Utilizing proper hand signals will help drivers better anticipate what other vehicles on the road will do, helping to create a safer environment for motorcycle riders and all drivers on the road.
3. Pay Attention to Changing Road Conditions
Paying attention to changing road conditions is essential to stay safe while riding a motorcycle. Keep an eye on the surroundings and constantly assess the environment. Pay attention to any changes in the road, such as street signs, lighting conditions, traffic flow, or any other changes that could affect your ride.
Be aware of new construction, road closures, narrow lanes, and sharp curves. If you are unsure of what might be ahead, slow down and pay close attention to the surfaces of the road, as these can become slick and dangerous. If visibility decreases, reduce your speed and make sure your lights are on so other motorists can see you.
It is also essential to be mindful of the posted speed limits and never drive above the set limit. Ensure you will drive defensively and watch out for cars and pedestrians.
4. Obey All Traffic Laws and Regulations
Motorcycle Riders must be especially vigilant when obeying all traffic laws and regulations.
They must also be aware of potential hazards, such as wildlife and other vehicles, and should adjust their speed accordingly. At intersections and railroad crossings, riders should remain focused and obey all relevant traffic signals and signs to reduce the risk of a collision.
Riders should also limit their distractions while driving, such as using their phone, as this can increase the risk of an accident. Don’t text or call when driving. Further, lane splitting is generally not allowed, and riders should be careful not to drive between lanes.
Following these essential safety tips, motorcycle riders can reduce their risk of accidents and enjoy the freedom of the open road.
5. Inspect Your Motorcycle Before Each Ride
Motorcycle riders should always keep in mind the importance of motorcycle safety. Before each ride, inspect your bike to make sure it is in satisfactory condition. A checklist or a standardized set of regulations can help ensure all components are up to par.
Ensure that the tires and brakes are in good shape, all lights operate correctly, and the suspension and controls are maintained and adjusted. Ensure the air filter is free of dirt and debris, and the battery is charged reasonably.
Be sure all the fluids have been changed at the manufacturer-recommended intervals, and check the fuel lines, chassis, and bolts to ensure they are properly sealed and secured. If you are ever caught in an accident and need legal assistance, click for motorcycle accident lawyers and hire one immediately.
Learn More About Motorcycle Riders Safety
Motorcycle riders must take every precaution to ensure their safety while on the road. Following the safety tips listed above can help significantly reduce the risk of an accident.
Riders should be mindful of their environment, always wear protective gear, and never speed. These precautions will help riders stay safe and enjoy their road time. So, don’t forget to keep safe and happy riding!
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Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.