Operating a motorcycle is a fun and freeing experience, but it can also pose quite a few risks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,014 motorcyclists lost their lives in 2019 as a result of auto accidents.
While drivers of passenger vehicles are hugely responsible for maintaining safety, motorcyclists must also keep safety in mind. Here are a few ways you can reduce your risk and increase the odds of a safe driving experience for all.
Obey all traffic laws
Even seasoned riders must obey traffic laws at all times. Always follow the speed limit, even when driving on open stretches of road. Use the proper practices when it comes to signaling and lane changes. Leave ample room between your motorcycle and other vehicles, as this will ensure you have enough time to stop.
Check your bike before you ride
The condition of your motorcycle not only affects performance, it also has an impact on safety. Check tires, brakes, lights, and other essential features every time you ride. Keep up on repairs and maintenance as needed. If you have concerns about a component of your bike, refrain from riding until a mechanic can inspect it.
Always wear a helmet
While motorcyclists and their passengers are legally obligated to wear helmets at all times, they are also crucial from a safety perspective. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) establishes standards for helmets, so always look for the DOT symbol somewhere on the inside or outside. A helmet not only preserves life, it also spares motorcyclists from experiencing significant head trauma.
While taking the above steps will definitely reduce your accident risk, you have little control over the actions of other drivers. That is why motorcyclists must remain alert and aware at all times, which allows you to take the proper action should another driver make a major mistake.