Spring is here and there are more motorcycles on the road. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic accidents. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than people in passenger cars to die in a traffic crash. For this reason, it is important for drivers and motorcyclists to share the road and be aware of one another. Motorcyclists should also practice safe riding. Follow these motorcycle safety tips to make sure your next ride is a safe one.
Be Road Ready
- Before every ride, check your motorcycle’s tire pressure, brakes, headlights, signal indicators and fluid levels.
- If you are carrying cargo, ensure it is secured and balanced on the motorcycle. If you are carrying a passenger, be aware that riding with a passenger requires considerably more skill.
- Arms and legs should be covered when riding a motorcycle to provide protection if in a crash.
- Avoid wearing all black or brown clothing as you blend in with the surroundings. Instead opt for bright colored clothing or neon safety apparel so you are more visible to other drivers.
Protect Yourself with a Helmet
- Wearing a helmet is essential to motorcycle safety and can make a difference if you are in an accident.
- Choose a motorcycle helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. You can identify helmets that meet these safety standards by the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet.
- Know the rules of the road as you would driving any vehicle. Half of vehicle collisions occur at intersections so drive defensively and take extra caution at intersections.
- Be alert and watch for road hazards such as potholes, puddles, gravel, debris and railroad tracks.
- Use the motorcycle’s headlights both during the day and at night so you are more visible on the road.
- Try to always keep a 20-foot cushion between you and the vehicle in front of you.