Riding on a motorcycle is fun and exciting. Nothing feels better on a warm afternoon then being on one, feeling the light breeze and the sun as you travel. However, it is vital that you take motorcycle safety very seriously as it only takes a second for you to be involved in an accident. Keep in mind that you don’t have the protection of a vehicle around you. Your motorcycle and your body are going to come into direct contact with another vehicle as well as the road.
Most accidents involving bikes are the result of another vehicle not being able to see the bike. I can remember one of the scariest moments in my life involved my husband on a motorbike. He was about a mile ahead of me and I was traveling in my car with our children. My husband went to pass a semi truck. As he was preparing to go around the semi truck decided to pass the car in front of him. He put on his signal light and my husband had to get to the shoulder to avoid being hit. The semi truck driver never knew he was there.
The lesson here is for both the cycle rider and for other vehicles. Make sure you look for “scooterts” behind you and on the side of you before you make a move. This is especially true during times of warmer weather. Motorcycle riders need to drive attentively, understanding that other vehicle drivers won’t always be able to see them.
Operating a motorcycle doesn’t mean you have any special privileges on the streets or the highways. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we have all seen reckless driving involving motorcycles. I have been passed on the right shoulder more times than I can count. I few times traffic has been at a complete stop when a motorcycle operator decides to weave in and out of traffic to get ahead of the mess.
Motorcycle riders often travel together, and they like to ride side by side. This is a safety hazard for everyone. Each rider needs to remain in single file and pay attention to what is going on around them. This also needs no wheelie tricks or excessive speeds while traveling.
It is very important to always wear eye protection and a helmet when you are riding on a motorcycle. In many states, it is mandatory. It is very easy to get a bug, dust, or other debris in your eye while riding a motorcycle if you don’t have eye protection on. A helmet can save your life as a head injury will be less likely than without one.
It is a good idea to always wear a long sleeved shirt and pants while riding a motorcycle as well. They will offer you protection from road rash and debris. If you ride your motorcycle at night make sure your headlight works properly and that you have on reflective tape or clothing.
Many motorcycle accidents are the result of road conditions. Pay attention to the road and watch for areas of spills, sand, water, or foreign items. We have all seen boards, wood pieces, and even furniture on the road. Can you imagine hitting such an object with a motorcycle? Likewise, watch for such items being hit by another vehicle and becoming airborne. Never ride your motorcycle in rain, sleet, or snow. The risk is too great.
Operating a motorcycle is a great way to spend your leisure time. It is also a very cost effective way of commuting to and from work. Operating a motorcycle is also a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to be more assertive and observant of your surroundings on a motorcycle than you do when operating a car. Make sure you have plenty of experience on how your motorcycle functions before you attempt to ride it in a location where there are other vehicles.