Rider Safety Tips
Choosing to ride a motorcycle brings added dangers, but plenty of people still manage to do so safely. There are several precautions riders can follow to drastically decrease their chances of getting in an accident that leads to serious injury or death.
- Take a safety course: Learning how to handle your bike could mean the difference between a fatal crash and a close call. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers courses for both beginners and experts, with locations available across the country.
- Get a bike with anti-lock brakes: Motorcycles with anti-lock brakes are more stable when braking, stop sooner and have better traction on low-friction surfaces. All these factors add up – motorcycles with ABS are involved in 37 percent fewer fatal crashes.
- Always wear a helmet: Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash. When shopping for a helmet, buy one that covers the entire face and includes a visor, preferably one certified by the Department of Transportation. It’s recommended to replace helmets at least every five years, as helmets deteriorate over time.
- Choose protective clothing: Wearing full-length pants, a jacket and gloves made of leather or another rugged material can prevent painful road rash and other injuries during a slide out. Many modern jackets and pants combine protective padding with breathable mesh to provide ventilation and comfort during warm weather.
- Practice safe driving: Almost half of all motorcycle fatalities involve speeding, so follow posted speed limits. Use extra caution during heavy traffic by keeping a safe distance from other vehicles. This extra distance provides more time to stop and more time to react to hazards (e.g., potholes, debris, etc.) that cars might straddle or conceal.