When ending a conversation with a fellow motorcyclist, many say some variation of the phrase, “Ride safe!” With this simple farewell, they’re telling one another to drive with caution and care so that they can live to see another day. While riding safely should be a priority of all motorcyclists, riding a motorcycle in itself is a risk because it carries some inherent dangers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in the U.S. in 2018. Whenever you hit the road, follow the motorcycle safety tips below to reduce your risk of an accident.
Motorcycle Safety Tips to Keep You Safe
Wear all of the gear, all of the time.
A popular acronym among motorcyclists, ATGATT stands for “all the gear, all the time.” Make sure that you use a DOT-certified motorcycle helmet with a face shield every time you ride. Wear high-quality motorcycle boots, a motorcycle jacket, motorcycle gloves, and motorcycle riding pants. You should also wear ear protection while you ride. Proper safety gear can protect your body in the event of a collision.
Keep your bike in good operating condition.
Always keep your bike in tip-top condition. Check the air pressure in the tires before you ride, and replace the tires when the tread begins to wear. Make sure to take your bike to the shop for regular maintenance, and make all necessary repairs as soon as they are needed. You should be thinking about motorcycle safety tips before you even hop on your bike.
Pay attention to the weather.
Whenever you plan to ride, check the weather to see what to expect. If you are planning a long trip, review the forecast for the entire route and plan accordingly. Avoid riding in inclement weather.
Complete a pre-ride inspection.
Before you start your motorcycle, check your brake lights, turn signals, headlight, fluids, and tire pressure. You should also check your brakes before you ride. If they are not working properly, get them repaired instead of riding. This should only take you about three minutes and can help you avoid major headaches.
Always ride sober.
Alcohol and drugs impair your ability to safely ride your motorcycle. You should never operate your motorcycle after you have been drinking or have used drugs. Additionally, you should check the warning labels of any prescription drugs that you might take to ensure they will not impair your ability to ride.
Keep your distance from other vehicles.
Sometimes motorists have a difficult time seeing motorcycles due to their relatively small size. So when you’re on the road, stay back from vehicles in front of you. If you need to pass, signal before pulling out, check the lane for clearance, and get around the slower-moving vehicle quickly. Do not ride next to a vehicle for very long; cars and trucks have blind spots along their sides and may not see you there.
Obey all traffic laws.
Traffic laws exist for a reason. Do not speed, pay attention to the weather conditions, and heed all signs and signals. Make sure to stop for traffic control devices. Remain alert to your environment at all times, and prepare to drive defensively when you notice impending danger.
Talk to the Attorneys at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave
Even if you always ride safely and follow the traffic laws, accidents can happen. If you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have legal rights. Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave today to schedule a free consultation by calling 417-322-2222 or sending us a message online.