In 2002, there were only 4.2 million registered motorcycles in the United States. This then almost doubled to 8.3 million in 2018.
All those figures prove how motorcycles are becoming a preferred means of transportation. After all, it costs less to drive a motorcycle, not to mention more fun and exciting. However, they can be more dangerous, as they don’t have enclosures.
To that end, we created this guide on motorcycle safety every rider ought to know. Read on, as this can help you prevent motorcycle accidents while you still get to enjoy a smooth ride.
1. Get Trained by a Pro
In 2019, motorcycle accidents in the US resulted in an estimated 84,000 injuries. Worse, these incidents claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people.
Some of those cases trace back to a lack of inexperience and training in motorcycle riding. As such, it’s a smart idea to undergo training with a licensed motorcycle instructor.
For starters, studies found that fewer trained riders get involved in accidents. Researchers also suggest that professional education is effective in reducing motorcycle crash risks. So, while training won’t eliminate your crash risks, it may help lower the odds.
2. Have Police Hotlines on Speed Dial
Calling 911 itself is free, but many of the emergency services they dispatch aren’t. For example, if you end up riding an ambulance to a hospital, you can get a bill for about $1,500.
Besides, not all situations warrant a 9-1-1 call; this number is only for true emergencies. Such events are those that require emergency medical, police, and fire assistance.
Non-emergency calls would only contribute to the overloading of the 9-1-1 system.
That’s why it’s best to add the direct numbers of police departments in your area to your phone’s speed dial. This way, if you get into a motorcycle accident, you can call them right after the crash. Just make sure to do this after confirming that no one needs emergency medical services.
3. Always Dress the Part
Buy and wear the best motorcycle helmet you can, even if its use isn’t mandatory in your state. According to researchers, helmets can reduce fatality rates by 20% to 40%.
The “best” helmet varies from rider to rider, but the full-face type offers the most protection. Such protective gear provides coverage not only for the skull but the chin and the face too. Since it covers your entire face down to the chin, it protects you from the sun, wind, rain, stones, and even bugs.
Don’t forget to invest in high-quality motorcycle gloves, knee pads, and elbow covers. Riding pants and biker boots are also must-haves to protect your skin from the pavement.
4. Always Make Your Ride Visible
Because motorcycles are smaller and narrower, they’re easy to miss from inside a car or a truck. Enclosed vehicles, after all, have numerous blind spots.
For the same reasons, car and truck drivers often violate motorcyclists’ right-of-way.
Hence, the best thing you can do is always assume that other motorists can’t see you. Do this by maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, and don’t wedge your bike in a lane. You can also use reflectors on your bike and your person to make yourself stand out even more on the road.
Mind These Motorcycle Safety Tips to Enjoy Smoother Rides
Always remember that motorcycles don’t have walls that can protect you if you get into a crash. That’s enough reason to practice motorcycle safety whenever you head out on your bike.
As a final tip, never drink and ride. However, if you have plans of drinking, then it’s best not to take your precious ride with you.
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