A motorcycle is an invigorating way to travel, but some steps should be taken to insure that it is safe. Because motorcyclists have to share the road with both cars and trucks, even the best riders are at risks for harm. Staying safe on a motorcycle therefore is a combination of good practices and defensive driving.
Riding a motorcycle is already pretty dangerous on its own. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration have reported that motorcycle riders are 8x as likely to be injured in an accident and 35x as likely to be in a fatal accident. Most people are aware of these dangers - so much that it is probably fair to say that part of the exhilaration of riding is the potential danger.
While many people can enjoy a little danger, no one actually wants to be injured. To prevent accidents from occurring, there are a few important things to keep in mind when riding a motorcycle.
Many motorcycle accidents occur simply because the other drivers could not see you. Prevent this by staying visible as much as possible, using your clothing, bike and signals. Simple steps like wearing bright colored or even reflective clothing do a lot to signify your presence to others on the road. Keeping your head lights on will alert other vehicles that you are coming. Even over exaggerating turn signals helps to let people know you are there.
It may seem like a little thing, but the need to stay visible while on a bike cannot be understated. It is one of the best ways to avoid an accident.
Use Defensive Driving
Defensive driving means staying as cognate of other vehicles as possible. This may mean doing your best to keep as much space between you and the other drivers. A good rule of thumb is to allow for more space than you would if in a vehicle. You may not need the space, but the driver who fails to notice you will.
While it can be said that most vehicles on the road can use some form of defensive driving, it especially true for motorcycle riders. Their smaller vehicles and lack of protection to the rider make them an easy target for horrific accidents.
Cover Your Head
Most states require a helmet, and it's no surprise that they do. The experts say that more than 1/3 of all fatalities from motorcycle accidents could have been prevented if the riders had been wearing a helmet. Helmets prevent and reduce the severity of head injuries which can be the difference between life and death. If the other vehicles on the road are very likely to hit you, you might as well be prepared.
These simple steps will help keep you safe when riding a motorcycle.