A motorcycle accident is a very serious topic. Unlike a minor accident or “fender bender” for an automobile, most motorcycle accidents have the potential for life-altering injuries and consequences. The human body is no match for the steel construction of an automobile or a severe impact to the road or immovable object like a light pole or concrete abutment.
You MUST MAKE SAFETY your top priority when riding a motorcycle. Your very life depends upon it.
Operating a motorcycle involves different skills than operating an automobile, yet the laws and rules of the road apply to all drivers just the same. Common sense is among the key elements for any motor vehicle operation, but for a motorcyclist it is of paramount importance to exercise the maximum amount of care when navigating crowded traffic.
We strongly urge you to wear a helmet when operating your motorcycle. Even though it is not required by law, it is an undisputed fact that wearing your helmet can reduce the chances of a severe head injury by 80% or more. That’s five times more effective than not wearing your helmet at all.
Protective clothing and gear can also play an important part in keeping you from sustaining critical injury. Leather clothing has long been a favorite of motorcyclists, and that’s mainly because it will protect you from ‘road rash’ or worse if you fall or lay your bike down at speeds more than walking pace. Wearing the right boots or shoes with non-skid soles will keep you solid on the shifter and can also protect your feet in the event of a mishap or collision. Gloves can also be considered as protective gear and we strongly urge you to wear them as often as possible when riding.
Above all, the key to safety on a motorcycle is to RIDE DEFENSIVELY. Nearly 70% of all motorcycle accidents are the result of an automobile driver violating a motorcycle’s right of way. In many cases the driver of the car never saw the motorcycle at all. Ride with your headlight on and be sure to stay out of a driver’s blind spot whenever possible. Signal your lane changes and turns properly and keep a manageable distance from cars in any type of traffic. NEVER WEAVE or make sudden movements in traffic. It may seem that you have the advantage of snaking through stand-still traffic or congested conditions, but your risks increase exponentially when you violate traffic laws in this way. Remember, you are bound by the same rules as a car. There is a very good reason for that. Don’t put yourself at risk with this type of behavior. It’s not worth it to arrive a few moments earlier!
Always ride alert and sober. Drinking, drug use or driving drowsy are a recipe for disaster on a motorcycle.
Motorcyclist Maintenance Checklist:
Making sure that your motorcycle is fit for the road is just as important as practicing safe riding. Make sure that your motorcycle is in good working order, and regularly check the following:
Tires: Check for signs of wear in the treads, any cracks or bulges, or low tire pressure.
Engine: Look for signs of oil or gas leaks, and check all fluid levels
Headlight, taillight and signals: Test your signal lights, and your high and low beams for your headlight(s).
Once you’re on your bike and ready to ride, complete the following checks:
Clutch and throttle: Make sure they are working smoothly (throttle should snap back when released)
Mirrors: Clean and adjust your mirrors for best viewing
Brakes: Test front and rear brakes (each brake should feel firm and hold the motorcycle still when fully applied)
Horn: Test the horn.