Hitting the open road on your bike can be exhilarating, but if you don’t take the necessary steps to stay safe, you can get seriously injured in the event of a motorcycle crash. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from harm during an afternoon ride.
Tips for Motorcycle Safety
1. Wear a Helmet With a Face Shield
A helmet is your best line of defense from head injuries in the case of a motorcycle crash. Without one, you are five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration even reported that 2,089 motorcyclists died in 2016 because they weren’t wearing a helmet. In 48 of 50 states, they’re also required by law, which means you’re most likely going to get pulled over without one.
Your helmet must have DOT certification or compliance with European safety standard 22.05. You will have the choice of a full-face, three-quarters, or one-half coverage helmet. The latter option will require additional eye protection since it does not shield your eyes. Your helmet should fit snugly but not uncomfortably tight.
2. Wear Other Protective Gear
Biker jackets, pants, boots with nonskid soles, and gloves can also protect you if you get into a motorcycle crash. This attire should fit well, snug but not uncomfortably so, and the material should be thick for high abrasion resistance, such as leather or ballistic nylon. Boots should have over-ankle height and extra protection around this joint; they should also have the capability to keep laces tucked away and an oil-resistant sole for safety and traction.
3. Wear Reflective Clothing
Since you are on a more compact ride than a car, you want to make yourself as visible as possible to surrounding drivers at night. Some motorcycle gear will include retro-reflective patches that make you glow in headlights, or you can attach reflective tape to your clothing to have the same effect.
4. Take a Motorcycle Course
While you might pass and receive your motorcycle license as a self-taught rider, a formal riding education program can better prepare you for the road with techniques and strategies to avoid motorcycle crashes. Courses can range from foundation courses for beginners, track school if you’re interested in closed course race tracks, and even private instruction.
5. Maintain Your Ride
Make sure your motorcycle is in top condition before you hit the road. Any mishaps with your bike can have disastrous consequences. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation uses the acronym “T-CLOCS” to remind you what to look for when you’re inspecting your car:
6.Ride Safely and Defensively
It is particularly important to exercise caution and follow the rules of the road when on a motorcycle. While you can easily see a nearby car, they may not see you; stay out of their blind spot, signal well in advance of moving, and keep a keen eye out for turning vehicles or inattentive drivers that could put you at risk for a motorcycle crash. And as always, drive well-rested and sober whenever you’re behind the handlebars of your ride.
While some of these tips can save your life in the event of a motorcycle crash, your injuries may still warrant the intervention of a seasoned personal injury attorney. Since 1958, Gregory S. Young Co., LPA, has offered experienced legal counsel to Cincinnati, OH residents that fall victim to car accidents and negligence. Their team caters to clients across Ohio and Kentucky with 13 satellite offices throughout the area and 24/7 availability for personal injury cases. For more information about their full range of legal services, call (513) 721-1077 or visit the firm’s website.