Playing by the Rules: Motorcycle Safety Tips

Living on the edge is part of what makes riding a motorcycle so gratifying. But when your safety is on the line, do you know when it’s important to play by the rules? The reality is, a crash as a motorcyclist is about 30 times more likely to be fatal than it is as a motorist, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Maintain Your Ride

When it comes to driver safety, a motorcycle is much less forgiving than a car. Blow a tire in an SUV and you can easily maneuver the car off the road. Blow a tire on your bike and it can quickly become a matter of life or death. That means it’s imperative to make sure your bike is in perfect working order every time you ride. Before each trip, check your fluids, belts, brakes, and tire pressure.

Consider a Class

You can learn a lot about motorcycle safety from a safety course. It is suggested that every rider take one…especially if you have been off bikes for a while.

Proper motorcycle protective gear

Proper motorcycle protective gear

Protect Yourself with Proper Attire

Contrary to popular belief, dark apparel is not your friend on the road. No matter how hot it is outside – shorts, a t-shirt and sandals are not proper riding attire either. Even jeans provide minimal protection against injury and road rash if you happen to slide. You can go for extreme protection with leathers or reinforced jackets, pants and boots, but remember, if you blend in, others cannot see you. Wear something bright – safety-neon apparel is offered by many motorcycle companies.

No Helmet? No Way!

It should go without saying – never ride without a Department of Transportation-approved helmet. It doesn’t matter if you think you look silly, because it will help keep you alive (look for a DOT certification sticker on the helmet).

Drive Defensively

Safely driving a motorcycle

Safely driving a motorcycle

Defensive driving means giving yourself the time and space to react. You can’t do that if you’re unaware of your surroundings. Also, don’t feel you must keep up with the pack. If you’re in a group and they’re riding faster than you are comfortable with, hang back and go your own speed.

Whether you’ve been riding your whole life or are new to the culture, a wide range of know-how is necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of the drivers around you.

The Morrissey Law Firm, PC, is located in Springfield, Missouri, and focuses in personal injury and wrongful death trial work. If you need a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, please visit our website or call (417) 887-0529 to schedule a consultation.