Motorcycles are fun and fuel-efficient. That’s not news to anyone who’s ridden one. But neither is the fact that they’re also way more dangerous than a car.
Motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes.
The numbers are even scarier for older riders, who are increasingly taking up or returning to motorcycling after many years. Because of slower reflexes, weaker eyesight, more brittle bones, and other disadvantages, riders over 60 years old are three times more likely to be hospitalized after a crash than younger ones.
Make motorcycle riding safety your top priority!
Operating a motorcycle takes different skills than driving a car; however, the laws of the road apply to every driver just the same. A combination of consistent education, regard for traffic laws, and basic common sense can go a long way in helping reduce the number of fatalities involved in motorcycle accidents on a yearly basis.
It’s important to understand some basic motorcycle safety tips to make sure your next ride is a safe one.
- Wear appropriate gear: Make sure to wear protective gear and clothing that will minimize the number of injuries in case of an accident or a skid. Wearing leather clothing, boots with nonskid soles, and gloves can protect your body from severe injuries. Consider attaching reflective tape to your clothing to make it easier for other drivers to see you.
- Follow traffic rules: Obey the speed limit; the faster you go the longer it will take you to stop. Be aware of local traffic laws and rules of the road.
- Ride Defensively: Don’t assume that a driver can see you, as nearly two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver violating a rider’s right of way. You should always ride with your headlights on; stay out of a driver’s blind spot; signal well in advance of any change in direction, and watch for turning vehicles.
- Keep your riding skills honed through education: Safe driving practices such as these that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can be applied to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle!
- Preparing To Ride: To make sure that your motorcycle is in good working order, check the following:
- Tires: Check for any cracks or bulges, or signs of wear in the treads (low tire pressure or any defects could cause a blowout)
- Under the motorcycle: Look for signs of oil or gas leaks
- Headlight, taillight and signals: Test for high and low beams (make sure that all lights are functioning)
- Hydraulic and Coolant fluids: Level should be checked weekly
There is a lot of very useful and informative information in driving the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.