Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips For Riding On The Road

Top 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips For Riding On The Road

Motorcycling is a highly exciting and rewarding activity. However, it is also one of the most dangerous hobbies.

No wonder so many individuals like to stick to the safety of gardening or stamps collecting.

People riding on motorcycles are 30 times more likely to die in an accident than those driving in cars.

Motorcycles can be difficult to see on the road for other drivers, and collisions with cars or pedestrians are often fatal.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14% of all traffic-related deaths in 2010.

Even though motorcycles make up less than 3% of all registered vehicles in the US, they account for nearly 30% of vehicle fatalities each year.

Interestingly, half of these accidents are single-vehicle crashes; which means that they occur because of rider error.

Riding does not have to be a game of catch with the angel of death. Many riders go through a lifetime of motorcycling without a single crash or injury.

You too can minimize risks and maximize pleasure by following these top 10 motorcycle road and safety tips.

1. DO NOT BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW

Choose a bike that fits your body type and level of experience. Yes, bikes with big engines give you the bragging rights while you are drinking beer with your buddies.

However, these bragging rights often come at the cost of serious injuries and even death.

If you are a new rider or returning to motorcycling after a long hiatus, you will be amazed at the performance of modern bikes!

Even 250 cc bikes pack enough power for commuting within the city and the occasional weekend ride.

If you plan on doing a lot of riding on highways, 500 to 800 cc engines are more than capable of providing the torques when you need them.

You do not need to be on a massive Harley Davidson V-rod, Hayabusa or Suzuki intruder to keep up with traffic.

These bikes have engines that are bigger than those in most hatchback cars! Obviously, they are insanely difficult to control and require a high level of skill and confidence.

Also note that you should be able to plant both feet firmly onto the ground while sitting on the bike.

The motorcycle should be ergonomically compatible with your frame to ensure comfort and control at all times.

2. AVOID RIDING IN BAD WEATHER

Rain and snow cause the roads to become slippery and this leaves very little margin for mistakes. Be especially careful if it has just rained for a little bit after a dry spell.

Riding through the Rain

The rainwater mixes with dirt and grime on the road to form a slick paste, causing you to lose traction at the slightest instant of hard breaking (especially around corners).

Bad weather also affects visibility and makes you wet and uncomfortable – leading to a lapse in concentration.

3. BUY A BIKE WITH ABS

Anti-lock breaking system can be a life saver when you have to break urgently.

If a bike has no ABS, the wheels lock up upon hard application of the break. This causes the bike to skid. Consequently, the rider loses balance and falls.

Bike with ABS

However, the ABS system releases the break slightly just when it senses that the wheel is about to lock.

This prevents skidding and also reduces stoppage distance.

ABS is an optional extra on some models but it is well worth the extra price.

Note: Many older bikes do not have ABS. So drive extra-cautiously if you are riding on a classic/retro model.

4. YOUR BRAKES ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR TIRES

You can have the best brakes in the world, but they are essentially useless if you are riding on low quality tires.

Invest in premium grade tires and change them regularly.

Motorcycle Break

Always ensure that you are riding with the correct tire pressure.

These little things might seem trivial right now but they often, they are the difference between life and death.

5. WEAR A HELMET

This is a highly controversial issue in the motorcycling community.

However, here are the facts – A person riding without a helmet is 40% more likely to die from a head injury in the event of an accident.

Such a person is also 3 times more likely to suffer brain injuries. So, any helmet is better than none. Even a half helmet.

Young lady wearing a helmet

When helmet laws were repealed in the states of Texas and Arkansas, the death rate due to motorcycle crashes increased by a staggering 31% and 21% respectively.

Yes, it is true that helmets do not guarantee your safety. However, they play an instrumental role in preventing or mitigating brain damage.

If you have an accident with a helmet on, you might break a bone or two.

However, without a helmet, you might die or become quadriplegic for the rest of your life.

Please use your head and wear a helmet! We review and rate many cool helmets and the safest is the full helmets.

6. GET PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE TO IMPROVE YOUR RIDING SKILLS

Choose a good riding school instead of learning from your friends and relatives. Riding schools teach you everything from the basics to performing an evasive maneuver during emergencies.

In the US, multiple courses are offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Many of these courses are free and even the paid ones are quite inexpensive.

Many insurance companies offer a discount if you complete an MSF course.

In some states, you might also be able to skip part of your licensing exam upon completion of such a course.

7. RIDE DEFENSIVELY

As you read earlier, half of all motorcycle crashes are due to negligence.

However, in crashes involving a car and a motorcycle, the car driver is at fault 6 times out of 10.

Ride Defensively

In the event of such an accident, the car driver and passengers remain better protected since they have air bags and crumples zones to soak in the energy of the impact.

However, the rider inevitably hits the tarmac and becomes seriously injured. So drive defensively – the roads are filled with callous drivers – pay attention to your surroundings

In fact, many fatal accidents are caused by drivers who were not aware of the motorcycle or didn’t see them because they were hidden from view behind other cars or trucks.

That’s why it’s so important for every motorcyclist to stay alert and focused at all times while riding their bike – even when driving at slow speeds.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to remain sensible and come back from your ride in one piece.

8. WEAR PROPER PROTECTIVE GEAR

Motorcycle riders are always advised to wear their helmets, jackets, and gloves.

Do not ride in a t shirt, shorts and flip-flops – even if the weather is really warm. If possible also wear protection on your elbows and knees.

Pick a high quality jacket, full pants and high ankle shoes or boots. A padded jacket reduces the force of impact in the case of a fall.

It also protects you from wind, debris, bugs etc. Sunglasses do not protect the eyes fully from dust, bugs etc.

Use goggles or pull the helmet visor down.

Most importantly, wear high visibility clothing (bright colors & helmet lights) so that other motorists can spot you easily, even at night.

9. PERFORM A BASIC CHECK BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR RIDE

All airplanes undergo an extensive check-up before they are cleared to fly.

Your motorcycle is nothing short of a plane – it gives you wings and enables you to go wherever you want.

Surely, it too deserves a quick check before taking off!

Motorbike street ride

Make sure that your indicators are working well and the rear view mirrors are properly aligned.

10. SERVICE YOUR BIKE REGULARLY

This helps to keep your bike in mint condition. Worn out brakes and low tire pressure are easily preventable causes of accidents.

motorcycle

When tire pressure becomes low, the bike becomes very difficult to steer – low pressure increases the surface area that comes into contact with the road.

This leads to higher friction and compromises the maneuverability of the motorcycle.

Always remember that someone, someone is concerned about your safety.

If you have any more safety tips for us, please leave a comment in the field below.

Happy riding! Stay Safe!

People Also Asked

Can I wear my motorcycle helmet in all US states?

All states do agree that wearing a motorcycle helmet is necessary to avoid injury or death while riding a bike on public roads. Some states have specific laws about what helmets can be worn on motorcycles. If you are unsure about the law of the state that you are riding, check with a local motorbike store.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you would like to support this site, you can by purchasing through recommended links on the page. Should you decide to purchase, we may earn a small percentage of the sale at no cost to you.
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