Spring Weather Brings Out the Leather

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Motorcycle safety is just as important to a rider as it is to a driver of a four-wheel vehicle. Read on for tips on how to share the road!

Hide and seek is fun at home, not on the highway.  Often, motorcycle accidents occur because motorcyclists are not visible to other drivers. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident, and it takes both riders and drivers to keep everyone safe on the open road.

Motorcyclist Safety Tips

Riding in traffic is combat riding. Don’t be complacent, be proactive. Here are some safety tips to help keep you safe on the road, provided by the National Safety Council (NSC):

  • Wear all the gear, all the time. Make sure you have the proper protection; helmets, goggles, thick, durable clothing, and boots! Make sure the gear fits and abides by any regulations. Light and reflective clothing helps other drivers notice you!
  • Ride a bike that fits you! While it might be fun to try your buddy’s bike, the risk of an accident increases if the bike is too small or too large for you.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course. Many states require this as a prerequisite to your motorcycle license, but it’s a good idea to regularly take a refresher course.
  • If you drink, don’t ride. If you ride, don’t drink. Not only is it illegal to be riding at the legal limit, but even one drink can decrease your reaction time. And riders need all the time they can get.
  • Know that riding with a passenger requires more skill. Balancing yourself is already a skill, so adding a passenger can alter your ride more than you think. 
  • Drive defensively, especially at intersections. Half of all motorcycle collisions occur at intersections, so be vigilant when turning or going through intersections.
  • Watch for road conditions. From potholes, manhole covers, oil slicks, puddles, debris, railroad tracks, and gravel, motorcyclists are especially susceptible to these hazards.
  • You speed, you lose. Often, drivers can’t see you zipping through traffic until it is too late.  Follow the rules of the road, including speed limits and lane changes.

Driver Safety Tips

  • Look twice, save a life. Motorcycles tend to come into view, and as quickly as they come, they go. Take extra glances at your blind spots and mirrors!
  • Use your turn signals. As a driver, it is your responsibility to notify other drivers of your intentions.
  • Increase your following distance. By putting extra space between you and other cars and motorcycles, you increase your chances of being able to stop in case of an emergency.
  • Watch for motorcycles at intersections. Half of all motorcycle collisions occur at intersections, so be vigilant when approaching a light, stop sign, or making a turn.
  • Weaving motorcycles are not goofing off, they’re making sure you see them. Often, a weaving motorcycle in a lane is trying to remain visible and not showing off.
  • Distracted driving is deadly. This isn’t a tip just for motorcycles, but everyone sharing our roads.

As nicer weather becomes more consistent, we must all do our part to reduce motorcyclist fatalities this season.  Implement these tips and arrive alive. 

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice and/or an authoritative guide.

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