It’s Time to Think Motorcycle Safety Again
As summer is almost here and the days get longer, the nicer days mean our roads will start to see a significant increase in motorcycle traffic. This also means that drivers will need to exercise even more caution on the already crowded California roads to ensure everyone gets home safely. Every summer sees a rise in motorcycle accidents, and it’s up to drivers and riders to educate themselves on sharing the roads safely.
While responsibility for motorcycle accidents can often be a shared thing, more often than not statistics indicate that motorcycle accidents are typically caused by motorists failing to see a motorcyclist or failing to yield to the cyclist’s right-of-way. These accidents often result in serious injury or even in death. Because of the seriousness of this issue, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has released a new iBook, Intersection: Sharing the Road that is designed to educate motorists about what they can do to increase motorcycle safety.
24 Tips to Help You Stay Safe on Your Motorcycle
Millions of people are attracted to motorcycles for all sorts of reasons; the sense of adventure that comes with riding on two wheels, the feeling of liberation and independence, and the exhilaration of riding into the wind at highway speeds are all very appealing to so many. But while riding a motorcycle gives you freedom, that freedom can come at a steep price if you’re unskilled on a two-wheeled vehicle, or do not pay close attention to your surroundings and other vehicles on the road.
Compared to automobile drivers, motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to become involved in a deadly accident. To help you avoid becoming one of those statistics, we’ve assembled a list of things that you can do to stay safe while enjoying the freedom of your motorcycle.
Safety First: Sharing the Road
Out of the 32,000 people who died last year on the nation’s roads, more than 4,000 were related to motorcycle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). For motorists, the failure of a driver to see a motorcyclist in traffic is the primary cause for an accident. These Top 3 Tips are preventive measures for motorcycle safety:
Since not all motorcycles are the same, and range from touring bikes to cruisers to sport bikes, the owner’s manual is your new best friend. It will provide the specifics on how to understand and maintain your bike. There are, however, some general basics to follow. The front brake on a motorcycle supplies about 70 percent of the stopping power, which is why it’s important to use it every time you slow down. Also, always apply the front and rear brakes simultaneously. Slow down before you enter a turn, being sure that you look as far ahead, through the turn, as possible. Also, keep your feet on the pegs and grip the gas tank with your knees. Lean with the motorcycle by pressing the handlebar in the direction of the turn and maintaining slight pressure on the handlebar. Regular preventive maintenance is key.
The Right “Gear”
Good body protection can help reduce injuries if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. This includes protective gear like over-the-ankle boots or shoes with non-skid soles, full-fingered gloves, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long pants (denim or leather), and an appropriate Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Also, keep abreast of the latest in safety courses and certifications. Plus, be sure to have the proper license to operate your motorcycle.