Guest Post: Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders
Here’s an article from fellow female motorcyclist Ania Todua. All pictures, links and opinions contained in this article are hers. You can find her on Twitter, @ania_todua. If you have an article you would like featured on Ride Newfoundland, please get in contact with me.
No matter how exciting a motorcycle ride is or how experienced you are, you always have to abide by the safety rules. Operating any vehicle is dangerous if not done safely but because of their higher speed motorcycles are prone to more accidents than cars. Even if you like to live on the edge, taking unnecessary risks won’t help you live at all. There are several reasons why motorcycles are more dangerous. Two wheels instead of four means less balance and stability. Their lack of and exterior frame or seatbelts, like a car has in order to absorb crash forces, are just a few. So in time of a crash, the entire brunt of the collision is borne by the motorcycle and its rider. The lack of the latter means the rider can be thrown off too easily.
Image Credit: http://www.wikihow.com/Ride-a-Motorcycle
Knowing the dangers that come with motorcycle riding does not have to be a deterrent. It should instead make you aware of all the things you need to do to ride on safely for years. There are millions of professional and recreational riders and every day new members are added to the list. On top of that, more people around the world are turning to motorcycles as their primary mode of transportation. As the numbers keep increasing it becomes even more imperative for everyone on the road to practice safe riding and abide by the road rules. Here are a few safety tips for motorcycle riders to keep in mind.
- Choose a bike that you can easily handle. Keep your size and body strength in mind to buy a bike that will fit best your frame. Handlebars and controls should be within easy reach and your feet should touch the ground when seated.
- Hone your skills and take a motorcycle safety course. This teaches basic traffic safety laws as well as specifics pertaining the state or region that you are in. These courses also teach the rider advanced techniques like performing evasive emergency maneuvers and how to respond to emergency situations. More than anything they will also give you about motorcycle maintenance tips.
- Make sure you have antilock brakes which will always prevent the bike from spiraling out of control in emergencies. In slippery conditions bikes tend to skid and crash which will now be minimal as well as with minimal risk of injuries.
- Conduct a pre-ride check to identify any mechanical defects that may be happening. Make sure your lights, horn, chain, belt, shaft, brakes and directional signals are working properly. Also inspect the tires for wear and tear. They should be set at the proper pressure not over or under inflated because either could jeopardize your safety.
- Buy the complete gear wear it right instead of dressing casually. First and foremost your riding gear should include a helmet. Lack of helmet means fatal head injury in a crash and increased risks for brain trauma. Opt for material like leather to protect your body from the weather and terrain exposure. This should include reinforced jacket, full pants, gloves, over-the-ankle footwear as well as protective eyewear.
- Try to wear brighter clothes, especially at night so that you are visible to other motorists on the road. You can use reflective strips or decals on your motorcycle as well as on your clothing to increase this visibility.
- Make sure you follow the safe riding rules at all times. This is as much for road sharing courtesy as it is for your safety. Instead of assuming that everyone will follow rules you should be defensive and alert. This will actually go a long way to prevent crashes and collisions from happening.
- Try and avoid bad weather because road conditions worsen at these times. If you do have to venture out then keep a strict check on your speed and road conditions. Watch out for road hazards that may cause the bike to skid or slide unexpectedly.
- In this age of Internet and cell phones, it is easy to get distracted. On a motorcycle it is even riskier than in a car. So make sure you don’t fiddle with your phone or iPod while you are riding. You need to stay hyper-aware of your surroundings and fellow motorists. If you are not then you will lose control of braking, accelerating and shifting – in short of the bike and your life.
But if you follow these simple tips, you can enjoy your ride and continue to be safe for as long as you want.