In 2018, about 8% of U.S. households owned motorcycles. Many people are drawn to motorcycles because of the thrill of speed and open air. Nothing beats a long cruise on a motorcycle down a scenic highway. Yet while driving a motorcycle is fun, it can also be quite dangerous. Before hopping on your bike, thoroughly review motorcycle safety tips and rules.
It’s always a good idea to take training courses as well! We’ll give you a head start with learning motorcycle safety tips by providing a quick list of 11 tips below. Make sure to keep reading to stay safe on the road.
1. Select a Quality Helmet
Whenever you’re driving or riding a motorcycle, you need to be wearing a helmet. A helmet could be the difference between life or death in a major crash.
You can either select a helmet with full coverage, 3/4 coverage, or 1/2 coverage. As you pick out a helmet, double-check to make sure it’s DOT certified and fits well on your head. You want something snug but not too tight.
2. Sign up for Safety Courses
Anyone can read tips on the internet all day, but take time to put your knowledge into action while learning from the experts. Take some local safety courses.
Teachers will show you the ropes and give you the skills to react appropriately in the case of a near-crash. Plus, it’s a great way to meet other people you can cruise with.
3. Invest in Safety Gear
Yes, there’s plenty of other gear included in motorcycle safety beyond your helmet. Buying all the gear may be a costly investment, but it’s worth it if it saves your life.
Search for a motorcycle jacket with armor that will protect you in case you slide against the pavement. You’ll want something that’s not too bulky but that offers adequate protection.
In addition to a jacket, invest in long pants and gloves. They’ll help prevent major scrapes.
4. Always Check the Weather
Take a moment to check weather predictions for the day before hopping on your bike. It may be sunny now, but it could be raining cats and dogs in a few hours.
If you do get caught leaving work in the rain, have a backup plan ready to go. Is there a coffee shop you can wait at nearby while the rain passes? Can a friend pick you up in their car?
5. Stick With What You Know
Especially if you’re a newer rider, you might see people weaving around on the streets and feel like you need to try it. Don’t try it. Stick with what you know, and stay inside your safety comfort zone.
We know it’s tempting to mess around when riding a motorcycle, but horsing around on a powerful vehicle will quickly land you in hot water.
6. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
As obvious as this safety tip sounds, it’s the one people often forget after being comfortable on their bike. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings, even if you feel like everything is running smoothly.
There are plenty of distractions around motorcyclists on the road, but don’t let the warm sunshine distract you from the drivers around you. Distracted driving slows reaction time.
7. Regularly Inspect Your Bike
Just like any vehicle, your bike should be regularly inspected. Check the tire pressure, all lights, oil, horn, and brakes.
If something does appear to be off, don’t ride your bike until you’re able to take it into a shop. It might be nothing to worry about, but it’s best not to test the waters until a professional mechanic gives you the green light.
8. Keep an Eye Out for Escape Paths
As you learn how to ride a motorcycle, you’ll learn about the importance of finding escape paths. Scan for an escape as you work your way through traffic.
Be cautious of guard rails that block an escape, and try to avoid being pinched in between too many cars. Try to remain beside open medians in the case of an emergency.
9. Remain Visible
Always make sure drivers around you know you’re there. Don’t be afraid to make yourself known if someone seems like they aren’t paying attention.
You can remain visible by not slipping too often into people’s blind spots and rely on your horn in traffic to give people warnings of your presence. Many drivers also select brightly colored jackets and helmets so they’re more visible in the sun or someone’s headlights.
If you feel like a driver around you isn’t paying attention or driving while distracted, do your best to maneuver away from them.
10. Always Ride in a Good Headspace
Just like you should never go to bed angry, you should also never drive your motorcycle angry. You should also never drive when extremely depressed, exhausted, or distracted.
Be a careful monitor of your own emotions, and avoid getting on the road if you’re not where you’d like to mentally be. If you’re feeling sleepy, take a nap before going on a cruise.
Plus, who doesn’t enjoy cruising while they’re feeling happy and awake? It’s a liberating feeling.
11. Keep Emergency Supplies on Deck
It’s never a bad idea to have emergency supplies on your bike. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use them, but you never know!
Keep some extra bandages, gauze, tape, and antibacterial wipes handy. Even if you only have a minor scratch, you’ll be more at peace riding knowing it’s taken care of!
Better Safe Than Sorry: Motorcycle Safety Tips
Driving a motorcycle is an enjoyable activity for many, but it can also be a dangerous activity. Make sure to follow the above motorcycle safety tips to keep yourself and others safe on the road.
While riding, always have your safety gear on and be aware of all the other drivers on the road. Never drive while distracted or upset. If you feel like you need a refresher, take a local safety course.
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