The statistics from recent years show that more and more people are choosing to own and ride motorcycles, and it’s not hard to see why; motorcycles offer a thrilling, exciting riding experience for many people that cars simply can’t compete with, as well as being more maneuverable, practical, and affordable in most cases too.
On the downside, motorcycles can be more dangerous to drive than cars, vans, or SUVs. They’re smaller, more easily pushed aside by bigger vehicles, and more difficult for other road users to spot in their mirrors or through their windows too, meaning that those who choose to travel by motorcycle can be at a higher risk of ending up in an accident.
The statistics back this up, showing time and time again that thousands of motorcycle riders tragically die each year, with countless more suffering physical injuries and mental trauma as a result of crashes and collisions. With this in mind, if you’re planning to travel by motorcycle, here are some useful road safety tips to keep in mind.
Of course, one of the key tips we have to mention when it comes to motorcycle safety is the importance of wearing a helmet. Not only is this a legal requirement in most states and for the vast majority of riders, it’s also a very sensible decision, as helmets and other protective equipment accessories have been proven to save lives and massively reduce one’s risk of serious injuries.
Another useful tip for any motorcyclist who wants to stay safe on the road is to make sure they’re alert and aware of their surroundings at all times. A momentary lapse in concentration can prove catastrophic in any vehicle, but especially on board a bike. You need to stay focused and concentrated at all times, ready to respond and react to the actions of other road users.
Following on from the previous point, it’s vital to make sure your focus doesn’t slip when you’re riding a bike, so this means that if you’re planning a long road trip or cross-country journey, be sure to add some breaks into your schedule. Don’t ever carry on riding if you feel tired or start to notice your concentration levels slipping.
Distractions cause all kinds of accidents and injuries every single year, and in this day and age, when almost everyone owns their own phone, it’s easy to let yourself get a little distracted from time to time. Do whatever you can to avoid this, keeping your hands firmly on the handlebars at all times and your eyes on the road ahead.
Road rage is another serious factor that can contribute to the likelihood of an accident occurring, and it’s especially easy for motorcycle riders to get frustrated or angry when out on the road, due to the irresponsible or reckless actions of others. However, try to remain calm, even if another road user swerves into your lane or fails to keep their distance, and focus on staying safe instead of trying to get revenge.
Watch the Weather
It’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecast before planning a big bike ride too, as rain, snow, ice, and more can all have an impact on the comfort and safety levels of your journey. Trying to ride in the rain can reduce visibility, both for yourself and others, while riding on snowy or icy roads can increase your chances of skidding or ending up in a collision, so be sure to think twice before heading out in bad weather.
Bike Care and Inspections
Before you head out on any road trips or long journeys, make sure to give your bike a once-over to check for any issues and make sure everything is in good working order. Check your headlights, brakes, and tires, for example, and remember to carry out the usual bike maintenance tasks or take your bike to a local repair shop on a regular basis for routine check-ups if you don’t feel comfortable carrying out the work on your own.
Motorcycles can be a lot of fun to ride, but it’s important for every rider to acknowledge the real risks they face out on the roads and be ready to drive defensively, take evasive action, and keep concentration levels high from the first second of every journey to the last. Keep these tips in mind and make sure to ride safe every time.