The freedom of the road is what makes riding a motorcycle so exciting, but when your safety is on the line, do you know everything you should about when it’s important to play by the rules?
When it comes to riding a motorcycle what are some steps riders can take to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of those around them? One thing that is suggested is for motorcycle riders to take a safety course. This isn’t just recommended for new riders but also for seasoned riders as well.
One of the main safety steps you can take while riding your motorcycle is wearing a helmet. For any number of reasons, some riders are reluctant to wear a helmet. The data shows the risks associated with not wearing a helmet. Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries than those with helmets, according to government studies.
A full-face helmet that’s approved by the Department of Transportation is the best choice. (Look for a DOT certification sticker on the helmet). Modern helmets are strong, light weight, and comfortable, and they cut down on wind noise and fatigue. Keep in mind that helmets deteriorate over time and may not be safe even if they look fine.
Specially designed jackets with rugged padding and breathable mesh material provide protection as well as ventilation for riding in warm weather. This helps cut down on road rash that can cause long term permanent disfigurement in the event of a motorcycle accident. You’ll also want effective eye protection; don’t rely on eyeglasses or a bike’s windscreen. Use a helmet visor or goggles. And keep in mind that car drivers who have hit a motorcycle rider often say they just didn’t see them, so choose gear in bright colors.
When riding a motorcycle, you need to be extra alert, especially in this age of epidemic phone use and texting behind the wheel. These distracted drivers are one of the most common causes of injuries to North Carolina motorcyclists. Keep an eye out for cars suddenly changing lanes or pulling out from side streets. And don’t tailgate; keeping a safe following distance is critical to your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Avoid bad weather if possible. Slippery conditions reduce your margin for error. Rain will cut your visibility and reduce your tires’ grip on the road, which can make cornering tricky. It can also increase the amount of space you need to leave to brake. If you need to ride in the rain, remember that the most dangerous time is right after precipitation begins, as the water can cause oil residue to rise to the top. Avoid making sudden maneuvers. Be gentle with the brakes, throttle, and steering to avoid sliding.
Finally, before each motorcycle ride, do a quick walk-around to make sure your lights, horn, and directional signals are working properly. Check the chain, belt, or shaft and the brakes. Inspect the tires for wear and make sure they’re set at the proper air pressure. A quick five-minute walk through can potentially save your life.
These are just some of the many steps you can take to help ensure your safety while riding a motorcycle. Being adventurous in life doesn’t have to always be dangerous. If you ride a motorcycle, take these tips to heart and if you haven’t taken the proper safety precautions before now, take them now.
If, despite all of these steps, you are injured because of the negligence of another motorists, the North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Maginnis Law can help. Reach out to our lawyers by visiting our contact page.