Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

All road users have to be very careful on the road to avoid accidents. For the motorcycle rider, extra care has to be taken because accidents involving motorcycles tend to be more fatal and severe. The reality of the situation is that accidents would continue to happen due to reasons such as negligence of other drivers and road users, motorcycle operator errors, slick roads, pot holes and many more. However, with proper care and adherence to motorcycle safety tips, riders can do their best to stay safe and prevent accidents.

Several factors contribute to safe motorcycle experiences. From putting on the proper protective gear, taking proper care of the motorcycle and obeying basic traffic rules. Here are some safety tips that would certainly prove helpful to help promote safe motorcycle riding.

Before riding

The motorcycle is not a toy. It is a mechanical device that needs time and practice to master. Your ability to drive a car doesn’t necessarily translate to good motorbike riding skills. Take time to learn how to ride properly and read the owner’s manual to better understand your motorcycle. To ensure that the motorcycle is fit for riding, you should periodically check the tires for stuck foreign objects or cuts. Also use a good pressure gauge to check that the tire pressure is as recommended. It also helps to check that your horn, mirrors, brakes and signal lights are all functional before you finally ride off. Do not over indulge in alcohol before riding.

While riding your motorcycle

While riding on the road you should always be alert for potential dangers and hazards. Pedestrians or animals crossing the road, cars making a turn, an intersection, railroad tracks, and pot holes are all possible hazards that can lead to accidents if not properly handled. A good motorcycle rider must always be on the lookout for all these hazards so as to take proper steps to avoid them.

Another important riding tip for motorcycle safety is to always ensure that you are visible to vehicle drivers. Switch on your headlights and wear bright clothes and always ensure that you give the proper warning signals before making a turn, over taking or changing lanes. The horn is a very useful tool and riders should not hesitate to use it to alert drivers of their presence.

Avoid driving in blind spots such as just behind a large vehicle or truck. Always stay where you can be seen and you can see as much of your surroundings as possible. Keep a healthy distance from vehicles in front of you and use your mirrors to monitor the traffic behind. Avoid over speeding as tempting as it may seem to have the wind rushing at your face. A lot of accidents are caused by over speeding motorcycle riders. Do not overtake vehicles from the driver’s blind side. Be sure that other vehicle drivers are aware of your presence and intentions.

Riding with a passenger

The motorcycle is designed to carry a passenger, but proper riding would ensure motorcycle safety for both rider and passenger. Little children should not be conveyed with a motorcycle. The child should be big enough to use a helmet and use the footrests. In fact some states have age restrictions for children passengers on motorcycles. The passenger should be well seated and balanced and their hands and legs should be kept away from hot parts of the motorbike. Passenger movements should be limited and sudden movements avoided so as not to disrupt the balance of the motorcycle during motion.

Carrying a passenger means extra weight for the motorcycle and the driver should also take this into account when riding and using the brakes. Sudden application of the brakes may bump the passenger’s helmet to that of the rider. The motorcycle should not be overloaded beyond the recommended weight capacity as this would disrupt the smooth functionality of the machine. Finally, the rider should start the motorcycle before the passenger gets seated on it.

Protective gear

The use of proper protective motorcycle riding gear is very important for motorcycle safety, because such protection could mean the difference between life and death for both rider and passenger. The helmet is very important and should meet set regulatory standards. Do not continue using a helmet that fell on a hard surface or that has sustained a heavy impact. Disregard it and get a new one.

The helmet must be of proper size and fit so as not to hamper vision and hearing. Helmets with outer shells made of a blend of plastic or fiber glass are more efficient in absorbing the shock of impact. Some come with vents designs to reduce wind and noise pressure. Investing in a sturdy and comfortable helmet is a wise choice as it concerns life.

Protective gear for your eyes includes wearing a helmet with a shield or using a pair of goggles. Be sure that the shield or goggles are unscratched and kept clean. Scratches can lead to glare, which would impair the rider’s vision. Motorcycle jackets are also advisable. It is best to get jackets made from sturdy materials that can protect the rider from the elements.

Pants made from thick materials can help avoid abrasion and gloves are a must to protect the hands and fingers. Other protective gear includes ankle-boots and raingear for use when it rains.

Use boots with strong rubber soles and great tread designs for proper gripping. Reflective material can also be placed on the motorcycle and on the back of your boots and helmet.

Motorcycle maintenance

Like any other machine, the motorcycle’s durability and proper performance is hinged on the quality of maintenance it gets. Using properly serviced and maintained motorcycles promotes motorcycle safety and ensures that they are working properly at all times. Periodic servicing as recommended in the owner’s manual must be adhered to. The bike should be kept clean as dirt may hide problems.

Oil, fluid, tire pressure, tires, brakes and batteries should be checked periodically. Do not ride with worn out tires, unreliable brakes or faulty lights. Your tool kit should be on your bike in case of minor emergencies that you can handle yourself.

Legal responsibilities

Each state or country has applicable licensing requirements for motorcycle riders. Be sure that you know these requirements and comply with them. Many riders involved in accidents are reported not to have the necessary licenses to ride a motorbike. The licensing bodies usually first ensure that the riders acquire the necessary motorbike riding skills before licenses are issued.

Other applicable legal requirements include having proper insurance cover, avoiding over indulgence in alcohol before and during riding, and keeping to the recommended speed limits.