Riding a motorcycle should be a fun and joyous situation but can be dangerous if riders aren’t careful. Serious motorcycle accidents are often inherently more fatal than other types because cyclists are less protected on a bike and maybe heavily impacted when they crash.
Thankfully, there are many steps that you can take to minimize the likelihood of accidents or serious injuries. These steps are things that all motorcycle drivers should do at all times. In this way, it is possible to keep yourself safe and avoid the long-term problems accidents may cause health issues.
Take a Motorcycle Training Program
Even if you already have a motorcycle license or have driven plenty in the past, it might still be a good idea to take a motorcycle training or safety program. These classes can show you how to avoid serious accidents and make your safety much easier. Topics you’ll likely cover in these courses include:
- Common causes of motorcycle accidents triggered by other riders
- Ways that cyclists may contribute to serious crash incidents
- Simple prevention steps that riders can take to be safe on the road
- Multiple methods for preventing damage to a bike that may cause issues
Reach out to your state officials to learn more about the benefits of these programs. Typically, these programs include a myriad of different unique courses that you can take, each of which will focus on various aspects of motorcycle safety to ensure that you don’t get injured while driving.
Keep Other Drivers in Mind at All Times
Cyclists are in a challenging position because they need to be even more aware of their surroundings than other drivers, particularly paying close attention to what other drivers are doing around them. Failure to do so puts you at a higher risk of becoming a motorcycle accident victim and experiencing severe pain.
For example, it is best to imagine that other riders on the road cannot see you while you are riding. While that isn’t true, believing that you are hard to spot is likely to make you drive more carefully. You also need to make sure you check around you while driving to avoid running into anybody.
Cyclists don’t have the same mirror system that cars possess because they don’t have the rearview mirror in front of them. As a result, you need to pay special attention to your side mirrors and even turn your head, as necessary, as long as you don’t turn your hands at the same time.
Avoid Slick Driving Conditions
While cyclists don’t need to stay indoors when it rains or snows, slick roads are almost always more dangerous for motorcycles. Even skilled riders may find themselves slipping, leading to a higher potential for crashes and deaths. Times when you should avoid riding on slick roads include:
- Rainy days, even if the rain is relatively low and doesn’t collect much on the road
- During extreme rainstorms that may come upon you without warning
- When snow is falling or has collected heavily on the road
- Early in the morning in the fall and winter when black ice may develop
- Around areas where water may be leaking, such as near fire hydrants
You should also make sure that you change your motorcycle tires when you start to notice frays or a decrease in the grip on each. Bald tires are hazardous on motorcycles because they are more likely to slip across the road and cause more severe accidents as a result.
Never Split the Lanes
Some states allow cyclists to “split” the lanes in traffic, i.e., riding between stopped lanes of cars on their side of the road. This action helps speed up some traffic scenarios but is inherently dangerous because an unexpected vehicle movement or an opened door may throw you from your bike.
So even if your state allows this practice or you’re riding somewhere that lets you split traffic, you should avoid doing so. If you do want to split the lanes for any reason, it is usually best to do it when only a few cars are ahead of you.
Always Inspect Your Ride
Lastly, it is essential to know that bike failure may also cause many crashes. You can drive as safely as possible on the road only to get sabotaged by a malfunctioning bike. That’s why it is important to perform various maintenance steps periodically, including how you should:
- Inspect your tire pressure to ensure that they are firm
- Check your hand and foot brakes to ensure that they are strong
- Make sure your lights are clear and obvious wherever you drive
- Always check your gas, oil, and fluid levels before extended rides
You may also want to hire a professional to inspect your motorcycle for many common mechanical issues, such as misaligned wheels, trouble with your steering, and more. Get an expert to help with these repairs to ensure that you get the most benefits possible out of these upgrades to your ride.
Keeping Your Ride Safe
Follow these steps, and your ride should be fun, engaging, and enjoyable at all levels. However, if you end up getting into an accident even after taking these steps and you aren’t to blame, you should talk to a lawyer who can give you a better insight into your case and give you the best chance of winning.