May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, for both motorcyclists and cagers alike. Motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured or even killed in the event of a crash, so safety must always remain a priority while traveling the roads. The number of fatalities of motorcyclists continues to rise, largely due to the increasing number of bikers. Any experienced biker will tell you it’s not a matter of if you are in a crash, but when.
Fortunately, there are a number of tips you can use to ride safely and protect yourself in the event of a crash.
Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Tips for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
- Always ride with a large buffer of space around your bike. Cagers often fail to see bikes, due to their decreased road presence. Swift lane changes, sharp braking, and even rapid acceleration by the vehicles on the road around you put you at risk for becoming a statistic. That’s why it’s important to always ride with ample space around you, and an exit route you can take if a car enters your riding space. On highways, this can mean riding in the right-hand lane, where you can maneuver off the road if need be. It’s trickier on side roads where you may not have as much space around you.
- All the gear, all the time. Without entering into the helmet debate, it’s important to wear protective gear to keep you safe in the event of a crash. Remember that protective gear extends beyond your helmet. Jackets, pants created for riding, and riding gloves will help protect your body as well. Road rash can be horrific and is often preventable by wearing proper protective gear. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, why not visit your local bike shop and purchase some more gear to keep you riding safe and in style?
- Use extra caution around intersections. Many crashes occur at intersections when drivers fail to see bikers and vice versa. Always use your turning signal in advance of making a turn. Also, regularly check your turn signals to ensure that they are in operating condition. Watch the vehicles around you carefully, and try to make eye contact with drivers. If drivers appear distracted or are obviously not paying attention (using their cell phone, talking to a passenger, etc), act with the understanding that they do not see you.
- Ride safely in bad weather conditions. We’ve all encountered those random downpours that can make the road as slick as ice for bikers. It’s important to recognize when road conditions are hazardous and avoid them, if possible. Heavy downpours are clearly dangerous, but roads are also dangerous right after it begins raining, even if it’s just a sprinkle. That’s because the rain mixes with the oils and debris on the roads and makes the surface very slick. Remember, also, that braking distance is much longer for both bikes and cars during rainy weather conditions. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, but it’s also a month full of thunderstorms and rainy days, so ride cautiously.
- Try to avoid the blind spots of drivers around you. We all know drivers are more distracted than ever. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to get a bad driver off their phone. You can, however, avoid riding in their blind spot where you are likely to be missed. Avoid the blind spots of drivers around you, and remember that the blind spots for tractor trailers is even larger than for cars.
Finally, the following tip is one that was shared with a Facebook follower. Instead of playing “Punch-Bug” where you spot Volkswagon Beetles on the road, play a version where you spot motorcycles. It will teach your children from an early age to become aware of bikers on the road, and this knowledge and awareness will carry over to adulthood.
During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and throughout the year, ride safely. There are far too many crashes, injuries, and deaths that could have been avoided. If you are involved in a crash, or just have questions about motorcycle collisions, biker safety, or how to ensure you get the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle crash, call Kass & Moses today at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE.