May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month! With spring in the air and more motorcycles out and about, here are a few reminders for all our riders on what they can do to help make hitting the road safe!
Wear Appropriate Gear!
In 2017, 1,908 motorcyclists died from not wearing a helmet, according to nsc.org. Just wearing a helmet alone has shown that it can be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries. When choosing your helmet, opt for one that has full coverage (they provide the most protection!) and look for the DOT sticker, which guarantees the helmet meets the safety standards required by law.
Wearing the right protective gear and clothes can minimize the amount of injuries in the event of an accident. Leather clothing, gloves, and boots with nonskid soles can protect your body from severe injuries.
Do not assume that drivers can see you, as around two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver violating a rider’s right of way. Stay out of a vehicle’s blind spots, leave your headlights on, watch for vehicles turning, and signal well in advance any changes in direction.
Continually Examine Your Bike
Making sure your bike is fit for the road is just as important as practicing safe riding. To make sure that it is in excellent working order, check for the following:
- Tires: look for any bulges, cracks, or signs of wear on the treads.
- Underneath: look for signs of gas or oil leaks.
- Fluids: the hydraulic and coolant fluids should be checked weekly.
- Beams & Signals: test out your headlights, taillights, and signals to make sure all lights are functioning
Be Sober & Be Awake
Same as operating a vehicle, don’t drink and drive, as this endangers yourself and everyone else on the road with you. Avoid going on rides when you are fatigued or drowsy, which can affect your ability to react.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Watch for hazards like potholes, manhole covers, puddles, debris, oil slicks, gravel, and railroad tracks.
Continually Educate Yourself!
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers videos, safety booklets, quick tips, downloadable Rider Course handbooks, and can help find a motorcycle safety course near you.