New motorcycle riders may be excited to get their new wheels, but riding can be dangerous. When you ride a motorcycle, you are not protected by a steel shield and built-in airbags like in a car or truck. Instead, you are fully exposed to the asphalt and other vehicles on the road coming at you at high speeds. When motorcycle crashes occur, the results are often devastating. Injuries from motorcycle crashes range from relatively minor like road rash, bumps, and bruises to severe like concussions, brain damage, and even death.
Fortunately, by following some potentially life-saving tips you can lower your risk of crash and injuries and instead enjoy your many miles on the open road. These five tips are not meant to be a thorough understanding of motorcycle safety. Rather, they represent bare basics that should be followed by all motorcycle riders to stay safe on the road.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for New Riders
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1. Use the appropriate gear, including a helmet, whenever you are on your bike. Motorcycle gear has come a long way. Gone are the days of wearing chaps, a jacket, and not much else. Motorcycle riders now can wear fully customized helmets, cordura or Kevlar jackets, and carbon fiber gloves. There are so many great helmets on the market that there is no excuse not to wear one. They have become so lightweight and comfortable, and some even have integrated Bluetooth headsets. While no amount of gear will protect you from every possible injury, wearing appropriate gear can lower the risk of injury significantly. New bikers are sure to lay their bike down at least once or twice, and wearing gear can save you from some nasty road rash. Don’t take chances- beginner and experienced bikers should always wear their gear.
2. Invest the time and money in a motorcycle safety course, even if it’s not required in your state. Many states require that you complete a motorcycle safety course before you receive your motorcycle license. Even if it’s not a requirement where you are, you should take advantage of these courses. They are offered nationwide by many different individuals and organizations and are a great way to learn the basics of motorcycle safety. Feel like you are too experienced to get anything out of that? I’m an experienced biker and have attended several courses. I never fail to learn something new. There are advanced courses on maneuvering and mastering your ride, too. No matter which course you choose to take, you can rest assured that you will have a great time meeting new biker buddies who share a love of the open road.
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3. Enjoy the road- but obey the law. There is nothing more exciting than the sight of the wide-open road stretching out ahead of you. As thrilling as it can be to high top speeds, please obey the speed limits and ride at a reasonable rate of speed. You never know when you are going to come across a pothole or some road debris. A small rut in the road can be enough to throw you off your bike and you definitely do not want that to happen at top speeds. A tip to all bikers – know the laws in your area and obey them. Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to learn more about the laws in your jurisdiction. Obeying the law may save you from crashing and could also save you a lot of money in tickets!
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4. Watch the road ahead of you. This tip for new motorcycle riders may be the most important one of all. Too many of us, whether bikers or cagers, get caught up in our “stuff” and lose our concentration. Whether you are listening to music, talking with your buddies (yes, it’s possible with integrated Bluetooth speakers), playing with your onboard computer, or just daydreaming, failing to pay attention to the road around and ahead of you is asking for trouble. Try to look several seconds down the road, and do not assume that others on the road are aware of your presence. Far too often you will discover that they are distracted and fail to notice you are right next to them until it’s too late. Take the power out of their hands by avoiding them completely.
5. Always ride with an escape zone in mind. When you are on a bike, you are going to get pushed out of your lane at some point. Whether the blue-haired granny driving her Cadillac fails to notice you or the big rig driver misses you in his blind spot, you will inevitably be pushed out of your lane. Be prepared by riding with an escape route in mind. On some roads, the curb will give you plenty of clearance in case you need to maneuver out of the way. More narrow, single-lane roads may limit your ability to plan an escape route. In such cases, you should ride with extra space between your bike and the other vehicles on the road.
Following the tips on this page will help you prevent many possible crashes and help protect you if they do occur. Sadly, far too many bikers will be involved in a motorcycle crash. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash and you want to know your rights, contact an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer at Kass & Moses today. Our team will meet with your and provide you a free consultation. We will help you recover financially so that you can focus on recovering physically.