Before You Ride: Motorcycle Safety Tips
Whether your motivation for riding a motorcycle is to save on vehicle and fuel expenses, for the camaraderie you share with other riders or simply a love of the sport, staying safe on the road is crucial. Before planning a summer ride, refer to today’s post for motorcycle safety tips. Being as prepared as possible will help you be more aware of the risks you face on the road while doing what you can to stay safe.
Find a Motorcycle Safety Course
No matter your skill level, we recommend taking a motorcycle safety course. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a host of courses. Refer to their course library to narrow down which course is the best fit. They recommend their Basic Rider course for anyone who has made the decision to ride a motorcycle. The course includes motorcycle operating basics and mental strategies focused on safety. For those who haven’t been on a motorcycle in some time, their Returning Rider course fits the bill.
Wear the Right Helmet
The National Safety Council (NSC) refers to a helmet as “the most important equipment a biker can use.” When it comes to the prevention of fatal injuries, they report helmets are an estimated 37% effective. Wondering what type of helmet is ideal? The Motorcycle Legal Foundation reports that a full-face helmet is the safest option for riders. In an article on the safest helmets for 2020, Michael Padway writes, “The most important thing is that the helmet fits your head correctly and that the chin strap holds it on your head.” NSC recommends helmets with a DOT sticker, which means the helmet design “meets the safety standards required by law.” Stay away from second-hand helmets since you can’t be sure of their history.
Before You Ride
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has pulled together a list of precautions riders should take before getting on their motorcycle; refer to their “Before Every Ride” specifics. Some basics include checking your “motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels.” There are additional pointers related to cargo and carrying an extra passenger. As for your motorcycle gear, NSC suggests “bright and/or reflective clothing that is durable and boots that cover the ankles.” They also recommend motorcyclists use their headlights at all times.
Avoid Unnecessary Risks
Speeding presents a host of dangers to both the motorcyclist and others on the road, as does drinking and driving (avoid at all costs). In the summer, be mindful of the high temperatures outdoors, taking breaks and staying hydrated. Intersections call for extra precautions, where NSC reports “half of all collisions occur.” Driving defensively means adopting the mindset that you are invisible to others on the road, positioning yourself accordingly for more visibility. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports the death rates for “supersport bikes” are close to four times higher when compared to cruisers and standard bikes. A study published in their Journal of Safety Research found “certain motorcycle designs, particularly supersport motorcycles, are associated with increases in risky driving behaviors and higher driver death rates.”
We Are Here to Help
Contact our personal injury firm if you or a family member has been the victim of a motorcycle accident in South Carolina. We offer a free consultation and 24-hour answering service. We have five convenient locations, with three South Carolina locations being fully staffed with full-time attorneys and experienced support staff, or we can meet you at your home or hospital, with evening and weekend appointments available. Call John Price Law Firm, LLC at (843) 552-6011.