With the arrival of warmer weather, many motorcycle riders are ready to get their bike out on the open road. If you’re itching to get your motorcycle out of the shed, it’s important that you follow proper safety tips to make sure you stay safe on busy roads. Roadway Insurance, Inc., provider of MAIF motorcycle and auto insurance, offers these tips for safety this spring.
Wear a Protective Helmet
While it’s the law to wear a helmet in Maryland, it isn’t everywhere. If you’re taking a road trip, that doesn’t mean you should forgo it in states that don’t require a helmet. Helmets are there to prevent injuries if you crash. In addition, wear one with a face shield or wear protective eyewear. Leaving your eyes unprotected may cause a crash.
Make Yourself Visible
Particularly if the weather isn’t ideal, it can be hard to see black, brown, and gray riding gear. Motorcycles are already harder to see because they’re smaller. Make it easier for cars and trucks to see you by wearing bright colors. Choose a helmet in a loud color and make sure that you have reflective material on your clothing. It may just save your life.
Be Defensive While Riding
As you’re hard to see, many accidents happen because motorcycles accidentally get cut off by a car. Start by giving yourself a 20-foot gap between you and the person you’re behind. This can help them notice that you’re there. If they can see you, they can signal appropriately and give you a warning before they make any turns.
However, the 20-foot gap may not be enough. Make sure you’re always keeping a close eye on what drivers are doing around you. They may forget to signal or suddenly stop. While keeping distance helps, you have to be prepared for whatever crazy thing another driver may throw at you. It may come down to you to ensure that an accident doesn’t happen.
Ride Awake and Sober
Riding while tired and riding while intoxicated are two of the most dangerous things you can do. It’s just as dangerous, if not more than driving a car in the same conditions. When you’re on a motorcycle, you need to be alert and ready to react at a moment’s notice. Being tired or impaired slows you down and prevents you from being able to act as quickly as you may need to prevent something dangerous from happening.
Check Out Your Bike
Before you ride, do a quick once-over of your motorcycle. Check the tires and make sure that there’s nothing that may cause a blowout or flat tire while you’re riding. Make sure your signals and lights are working and that there are no oil or gas leaks that could put you in danger. It only takes a few minutes to make sure you’re going to have a safe ride.