Do you plan on taking your motorcycle out for a ride now that the weather is warming up? Before you go, brush up on these tips that will help you stay safe on the roads:
Wear the appropriate gear
Motorcyclists can sustain serious injuries in accidents because their bikes do not offer protection in the way that seatbelts and airbags inside cars do. But, wearing the appropriate gear will help motorcyclists protect themselves in the event of a collision. Every motorcyclist should wear a helmet that is USDOT approved. Before buying a helmet, check the fit by shifting it back and forth on your head. If it moves more than an inch in any direction, you need to either adjust the straps or buy a smaller size.
Motorcyclists can also protect their eyes with goggles that are worn on the outside of the helmet. This will prevent eye damage caused by debris from the road flying into your face as you ride. Finally, every motorcyclist should wear gloves, boots, and long pants when riding. Be sure that your clothes are form-fitting so they don’t blow around in the wind and distract you.
Check the forecast
Before heading out on your motorcycle, take a quick look at the weather forecast. It’s best to take another form of transportation if the weather forecast says there will be rain, snow, or strong winds during the time you will be driving. Both rain and snow can greatly reduce your visibility and make it more difficult for your tires to grip the road. If you feel a gentle downpour while riding your motorcycle, be aware that the roads are the most dangerous right after the rain begins because the water brings slippery oil residue to the surface of the streets. Do not make any sudden movements and avoid slamming on your brakes if you get stuck in a rain storm.
Wind can also be dangerous for motorcyclists when it is strong enough to move the bike. If you start to feel gusts of wind hitting your bike, try to figure out which direction it’s coming from. If you feel the wind coming from your right side, move all the way to the right side of the lane. This way, if the wind does push your bike a little bit, you have a better chance of staying within your lane.
Inspect your bike
Get in the habit of inspecting your bike before you hit the road so you can fix any issues that could put your safety at risk once you start to ride. What should you check? First, check the tires to see if the air pressure is low. While you’re down there, peek under your bike to see if anything is leaking. Oil or gas leaks will need to be fixed right away, so if you see a fluid dripping out of your bike, bring it into a mechanic as soon as possible.
Test all of your lights to ensure they are working properly. Without lights, other drivers won’t be able to see you once it gets dark out, so these are very important for your safety. You should also test your horn so you know that you can alert other drivers of your presence if you need to while on the road. Grab a soft cloth and clean off your mirrors so you can clearly see all around you while you’re riding. Finally, check the brakes, clutch, and throttle. The bike should be completely motionless when either the front or rear brake is fully applied. When you test the throttle, be sure that it snaps back into place after you release it.
Many people wrongly assume that defensive driving is the same as aggressive driving, but that’s not the case. Defensive driving is the practice of anticipating dangerous situations and thinking quickly to reduce the risk of getting into an accident. Motorcyclists should always be aware of what other drivers are doing so they can quickly react if a driver begins to change lanes or abruptly stop. If you are passing side streets, keep an eye on whether there are cars pulling out in front of you.
If traffic suddenly comes to a halt, it’s recommended that you stay to the either the left or right of the car in front of you. This way, if the car behind you does not stop in time, you have a path to quickly escape and avoid injuries.
Remember, you can’t force other drivers on the road to drive safely, but you can drive defensively to greatly reduce the chances of getting into an accident.
Look for road hazards
Motorcyclists should focus on the road in front of them at all times so they can spot potential hazards from a distance. Why is this so important? Cars drive over potholes, bumps in the road, and debris all the time, but if you run into one of these hazards while on a motorcycle, it could cause you to lose control or fall off of your bike. As soon as you spot a road hazard in your path, try to move out of the way so you don’t come into contact with it. When it’s not possible to completely avoid the hazard, the least you can do is slow down to minimize the impact.
Even if you follow all of these safety tips, there’s still a chance that you could end up injured in a motorcycle accident. If you sustained injuries because of someone else’s negligence, it’s strongly recommended that you seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney. Contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case