>> Monday, September 2, 2013
Motorcycles are obviously lots of fun and very cool, but they are not safe. They may be fast, and give you quite an adrenaline rush, but that's exactly what makes them dangerous, as well. Motorcycles don't have airbags, seat belts, that protective frame that cars have, or any other safety feature, for that matter. Plus, they only have two wheels, which makes them pretty unstable. That's why – you must have a specific set of skills to be able to ride a motorcycle safely, and you have to be familiar with all the controls on your motorcycle.
Attend a motorcycle riding course
Before you take your motorcycle out on the road, it's best if you complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. It's the best way to learn all the basic motorcycle handling skills, and some more complicated techniques and maneuvers. In addition, completing such a course may help you get a discount when purchasing motorcycle insurance.
Wear protective gear
Considering that motorcycles don't have any safety features that will protect you in case of a collision, you must wear special protective gear that can prevent severe injuries, including a motorcycle jacket, a chest and a back protector, as well as elbow and knee guards. This pieces of equipment are especially recommended for those who own sport bikes. You also have to wear a high-quality helmet with a visor, non-slip gloves, as well as boots made from leather, or some other durable material, that will protect your feet and ankles. Wearing these protective clothes will keep you safe in case you lose control of your motorcycle and slide along the asphalt.
Make sure your bike is in a good condition
If you haven't used your motorcycle for a couple of months, you must inspect it and make sure it's safe to ride. You should check the brakes, the lights, oil level, turn signals, and see whether the mirrors are positioned correctly.
When you are out on the road, you should obey the speed limits, don't tailgate other motorcycles or cars, keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and make sure you leave enough stopping distance, especially in wet conditions. Furthermore, you should brake slow and steady, and avoid sudden stops.
Make sure other drivers see you
Motorcycle riders often get hit by cars because they are not visible enough. That's why you have to do everything you can to make your presence on the road known. For one thing, you should always use your headlights, be it during the day or at night. Also, you should wear bright colored and reflective clothing, and use your signals, as well as your horn, whenever you feel it's necessary.
Be extra careful when passing
If you want to pass a car or a motorcycle that is ahead of you, you should first check your blind spot, and never overtake a vehicle if you are approaching a corner.
Considering that motorcycle riders are one of the most vulnerable groups of road users, it's important to follow these tips, in order to stay safe when you are out on the open road.