When you choose to become a motorcycle rider, you make a choice that not everyone is willing to make. It’s strange to think that anyone wouldn’t enjoy the feeling of the open road on a motorcycle, of course, but that’s not the real reason that motorcycles scare some riders off. Motorcycles have a reputation for being unsafe.
Motorcycles’ reputation for danger is not entirely undeserved. It is true that motorcyclists are more likely to get into accidents than their car-driving counterparts. Worse, statistics show that motorcyclists are more likely to sustain serious injuries or be killed in the accidents that they get into. This is partly due to the nature of riding a motorcycle. The same cage that blocks driver’s views can protect them in a collision, and a motorcycle rider’s cage-free life comes without certain safety nets. Motorcycles’ dangers are also due to the fact that reckless drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs are notoriously bad at noticing and protecting motorcycle riders on the road.
There is, however, some good news. In addition to these unavoidable things, there are plenty of risk factors that you can take control of in order to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe on your motorcycle.
Learning the ropes
Many motorcycle accidents involve new riders. If you’re new to motorcycle riding, you need to take the learning curve seriously. Don’t just learn enough to get your license: keep learning and ride at your own pace until you’re ready for more serious trips and busier roads. Practice defensive riding and improve your skills so that you are good at avoiding the mistakes of car, truck, and SUV drivers.
Discretion is the better part of valor
Part and parcel to learning the ropes as a motorcyclist is knowing where on the learning curve you are right now. You need to wait until you have the proper skills before you tackle busier roads or winding, windy highways.
When you become an experienced motorcyclists, your obligation to think twice doesn’t go away. Motorcyclists frequently encounter situations in which they cannot safely proceed on the road. If rain starts coming down, don’t be impatient or reckless: pull into a parking lot or hang out under an overpass until it’s safe to ride again. Watch out for gravel, tight turns, and other issues that can be tough to handle on a bike. Above all, remember that it’s always safer to opt out of a dangerous situation and live to ride another day.
No matter how careful you are with your motorcycle training and riding, you can’t completely eliminate the possibility that you will be involved in an incident or accident of some kind. And if and when that happens, you’ll want to be wearing the right motorcycle gear.
The cool gear that motorcyclists wear isn’t just for show, of course. The tough jackets and hard helmets that riders wear will protect them, to an extent, in the event of an accident. It’s better to rip up a leather jacket than to injure yourself.
So invest in the right gear. Always wear a helmet. They protect a vital and fragile part of your body, and they’re incredibly effective in helping riders survive accidents. Be sure to invest in a motorcycle jacket, motorcycle boots, and motorcycle gloves, as well.
Motorcycles offer riders a lot, but they’re not toys. You need to take safety seriously when you’re on the road. Be smart, ride well, and always be prepared.
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