How motorcyclists can be safer on the road
Motorcycle riders know that there are risks involved with driving amongst much larger motor vehicles. But taking in the thrill of feeling the wind against your face and turning with your whole body are some of the perks that outweigh the dangers involved with motorcycle riding.
Even though motorcyclists are more exposed than other motorists, that doesn’t mean there aren’t safety precautions riders, like you, can take. From attire to bike maintenance, below are six ways to make sure your next ride is safer than your last:
- Freshen up your skills: Whether you are a beginner or longtime rider, a refresher course or some warm-up laps or rides are crucial if you go long periods without riding. If you don’t think you need a formal class, you can take your bike to the nearest parking lot and run through the basics or take a few shorter rides on city streets before a long coastal ride.
- Upgrade your gear: Take a look at the state of all your safety gear. If there is clear wear and tear, then it might be time to replace some of your staple pieces to ensure protection. For example, a cracked helmet isn’t going to be the most effective or protective eyewear that is all scratched up isn’t going to give you the best visibility.
- Add color and reflective pieces: If your riding gear and wardrobe is full of dark or muted colors, then you should consider adding more brightly colored pieces to your daytime riding outfits and reflective features to your nighttime attire. This will make it easier for other drivers to spot you. One way to achieve both is through a fluorescent colored vest with reflective stripes — like one a construction worker might wear.
- Avoid motorist blind spots: There are a lot of times on the road where you can’t control whether you are in another driver’s blind spot. But, one quick way to reduce the time you spend in blind spots, is by not riding alongside a vehicle. Try staying in front of or behind vehicles instead of riding side-by-side.
- Keep up with maintenance: Anyone who operates a motor vehicle should have a basic understanding of the regular maintenance their ride needs. Keeping up with maintenance can save you from becoming stranded on the side of the road or falling victim to accident caused by a malfunction you could have prevented with something as simple as a tire pressure adjustment.
- Remember to hydrate: Whether the it’s a cool or hot day, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration can impair your driving skills, so it’s just as important to fuel your body as it is your ride.
Taking just a couple extra steps to be safer on the road could save you from serious injury or even death.