4 Things You Need to Know About Motorcycle Safety
In America, motorcycles have always been symbols of rebellion and freedom. The practical reality isn’t quite as glamorous, but motorcycles remain a cost-effective alternative to conventional automobiles.
The unfortunate downside is that motorcycles do nothing to protect the rider, and other motorists aren’t exactly friendly to anyone that isn’t encased in two tons of steel like they are. When riding a motorcycle, safety is almost entirely in the rider’s hands, and it should always be assumed that the rider will have to compensate for the behavior of other vehicles on the road if they’re going to avoid an accident.
1. Leave Plenty of Space Between Vehicles
This is driving 101, but it needs to be emphasized: Ramming into cars hurts whether the cyclist is responsible or someone runs into them. Regardless of the circumstance, the cyclist always gets the raw end of the deal except when they’re thrown clear into dirt and grass. It’s essential to always have enough time to react to sudden stops or changes in direction. This is even more important when someone is behind a motorcycle; either the person in the car needs to slow down or the cyclist needs to speed up to ensure that the cyclist doesn’t become a road pie in the event of a sudden stop.
2. Be Extremely Cautious Around Curves
It isn’t always possible to see around the bend, and the sharper a turn is, the more likely someone is going to take up the opposite side of the road. These situations are best approached slowly, and in a position that gives the cyclist as much leeway as possible. This is especially true during late nights when people have been out drinking and are prone to assuming they’re the only ones on the road. It’s impossible to protect them from themselves, but thankfully a bit of caution goes a long way when responding to their erratic movements.
3. Invest In Good Safety Equipment
It isn’t enough to simply purchase a helmet and then go riding in normal street clothes. Some may think that driving suits looks ridiculous or that they’re extremely uncomfortable, but they offer more protection than any other single item. These suits are made of material that can stop bullets and knives; it’s the same thing in principle as strapping on a suit of armor before going out onto the road. When the worst happens, a cyclist should not be caught without a driving suit.
4. Always Remain Cautious
When someone becomes acclimated to motorcycles, it’s easy to assume that they can get away with more than they really can. This can be something as foolish as attempting to race another cyclist down a busy road, or it can be something as simple as failing to account for their surroundings. Either way, arrogance has taken its fair share of lives on the road, and cyclists are at higher risk than anyone. What amounts to a minor mistake in an SUV could easily be fatal to the cyclist, and that’s never a risk worth taking.
Motorcycle Safety Courses
Every cyclist should take a course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. There are so many special concerns that come with riding a motorbike over driving a regular car that no one should expect to learn everything they need to know through experience alone. The above tips will go a long way toward making the road safer for cyclists and other motorists, but there is no such thing as taking too many precautions or being too prepared when it comes to matters of life and death.
Brad Schneider is a guest writer for Kanetix insurance online where you can compare auto insurance quotes.