How to Ride Safely: 8 Simple Tips

When it comes to motorcycles crashes, one thing is always true, riders will get hurt. They tend to suffer injuries in 96% of all accidents involving a single vehicle, says Hurt Report. From 1975 to 1999, these accidents alone killed 38,000 motorcyclists. Yet, between 1998 and 2007, the amount of motorcycles registered in the US rose from 3.9 million to 7.1 million, for an 84% increase.

8 Tips to Riding Your Motorcycle Safely

Many accidents involving motorcycles are actually preventable. And, for wrecks that aren’t avoidable, there are still precautions that can be taken to help reduce injury severity. Here are 8 simple tips to help make your ride safer for both you, the rider, and others on the road:

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  1. Ride with a Clear Mind

If you feel tired, sick, emotional or very distracted, it would be much safer to leave you bike parked until your mind is clearer. If not, the chances of you making a small mistake that leads to big, maybe even deadly, consequences will be very high. A clear mind is the best shield to guard you against harm.

  1. T-CLOCS Saves Lives

T-CLOCS is a Motorcycle Safety Foundation acronym which stands for: tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis and stands. This simple, fast safety inspection reminds riders to check their bikes for various potential problems. Keeping tabs on vital components such as brakes and tires decreases the chances of malfunctions that could lead to disasters.

  1. Maintain Safe Speeds

Sounds like a given? Well, 35% of motorcyclists who perished in bike crashes in 2008 were riding above legal speed limits. This is very dangerous because the higher the speed, the less time you have to correct errors and react to hazards on the road. High speeds also make it harder to safely drive around and maneuver curves. This has caused many riders to simply drive their bikes off the road, driving themselves to their deaths.

  1. High-Visibility is Key

Even though motorcycles make up only around 1% of the road’s vehicles, 10% of all traffic fatalities involve bikers, per The New York Times. Why is this? In many cases, other drivers simply didn’t see them. Motorcycles fit so effortlessly into the blind spots others, increasing the chances of wrecks. Consider wearing highly-visible vests, vs black leather jackets. Headlight modulators for motorcycles are also an effective way of grabbing the attention of others on the road.

  1. Practice Emergency Reactions

In an emergency situation, you must be prepared to react quickly. When it comes to motorcyclists, this involves twisting bodies around, as well as finding a balance between steering and braking. This is how bikers avoid collisions, flying over handlebars and sliding on the road. Yet, in order for these maneuvers to start coming naturally, riders must practice how to emergency steer and brake. Train you mind and body to react to emergencies properly. Be sure to practice somewhere safe, like a bike trail or empty parking lot.

  1. Inspect the Intersection

Intersections can bring dangers for all automobiles, especially motorcycles. When you’re in an intersection, there’s always a chance that other drivers won’t see you. This causes them to make mistakes like turning into your bike or making a left in front of you. Ride safely by scanning the entire intersection before proceeding into it. Be prepared to make defensive driving move and evasive maneuvers to lower the chances of crashing in an intersection.

  1. Do Not Drink and Drive

In 1999 alone, fatal accidents on the road involving motorcycles was 50% higher than those involving trucks and cars, says the National Highway Safety Association. Almost half of the motorcyclists killed in single-vehicle crashes were legally drunk. And, in 2009, 29% of the fatal crashes involving motorcyclists were contributed to riders who drove while intoxicated. When you drive with an alcohol level above the legal limit, your reaction times are slowed down drastically. This also changes how accurately you judge potential dangers on the road.

  1. Full-Face Helmets are a Must

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that 2,000 motorcyclists’ lives were saved because of helmets in 2008. They also estimate that more than 800 others may have survived bike crashes had they worn a helmet. But, they don’t recommend wearing any type of helmet. DOT-approved, full-face helmets, complete with chin guards are considered your safest option in the US. Yet, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that the use of these safety helmet decreased in 2010 by 13%.

Follow Motorcycle Safety Tips

Don’t allow yourself to die as another statistic. The asphalt is not kind to motorcycle riders. Hit your body or brain on it at a high speed, and you could be seriously injured, permanently paralyzed or even killed. Follow these motorcycle safety tips from starting now.

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