Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
“Born to be Wild,” one of the most popular songs about the joy of motorcycle riding, accurately captures the feeling that many motorcycle riders get when starting their engines for the day, ready to head down the road with the breeze at their fingertips. There is something freeing about leaving the confines of a two- or four-door vehicle; unfortunately, there’s a lot of risk involved with it, as well. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 13.10 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes. The rate for motorcycles is 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles. Motorcycles also have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance traveled when compared with automobiles.
Safety on the road should be a priority for everyone, but looking at the statistics emphasizes the need for safety amongst those who prefer two wheels over four. Here are some important safety tips to remember for motorcycle riders:
- Hone your skills – Whether it’s your first time or 500th time on a motorcycle, make sure that you know what you’re doing, and brush up on your skills at riding classes in your area.
- Wear the right gear – What you wear could save you in the event of an accident, especially helmets. Your gear can save you from wind chill, flying bugs and debris, road rash or a serious head injury.
- Be defensive – Heads up: In collisions with motorcycles and automobiles, in 60% of cases, the automobile driver was at fault. You may be the best driver, but stay alert and defensive to protect yourself from those who aren’t.
- Avoid bad weather and road hazards – In the best conditions, motorcycles are great fun. In the worst conditions, they can be a great disaster. Check the weather and road conditions along the routes you’ll be taking.
- Be ready to ride – Before each ride, ensure that your ride is in working order. Check the lights, horn, directional signals, brakes, chains, tires, etc., to avoid mechanical error on the road.
Motorcycle safety isn’t just for the rider; as mentioned above, 60% of motorcycle accidents are caused by automobile drivers. Share the road! Take an extra second at intersections and when changing lanes, accelerating and braking to check for motorcycles. Their lives may depend on you!