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Motorcycle safety tips

Road safety habits for motorcycle operators and all drivers make for easy riding.

Helmet resting on motorcycle handlebars

The open road is always an adventure. You never know what might be around the bend, so make sure you're prepared for whatever the road has in store for you.

Whatever type of ride you prefer, sharing the road is essential. Here are some motorcycle safety tips to help keep yourself and your passengers safe.

Motorcycle riding tips

  • If you're new to owning a motorcycle, perhaps you've already received your motorcycle license, required by most states. You're also going to need insurance.
  • Consider participating in a hands-on training course conducted in a controlled environment. These are beneficial for both new and experienced riders.
  • Wear protective gear, and be sure passengers are protected too. Helmets, clothing, gloves, and eyewear can all reduce injury if you're involved in a crash.
  • Choose a bike equipped with Antilock Braking System (ABS). ABS prevents wheels from locking up and helps avoid skidding.
  • Be an engaged rider, focused on the road. Watch out for distracted drivers.
  • Always ride sober, including avoiding prescription medications that may affect how you ride.
  • Be courteous and respectful of other motorists; share the road.
  • Follow at a safe distance - two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you is best in ideal conditions. Allow more time and distance in bad weather, heavy traffic, or as you approach curves and intersections.
  • Stay in your lane. Other motorists are more likely to see you when you're in a travel lane.
  • Obey traffic laws, especially speed limits.
  • Always use turn signals.
  • Pretend you're invisible to drivers or other vehicles; take precautions to be seen, including wearing bright colors and using your headlight at all times.

Motorcycle safety tips for drivers

  • Be respectful and courteous; share the road.
  • Use turn signals to change lanes or merge into traffic.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Watch for motorcycles with turn signals flashing. Wait until they turn or the driver turns the signal off, because unlike cars, motorcycle signals don't always have auto-cancel.
  • Watch for sudden moves by motorcycles due to road hazards, such as potholes or debris.
  • When following a motorcycle, travel at a safe distance, recommended to be three or four seconds. They can stop quicker than a car, and you need to be ready to stop, too.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.




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