Tips to help prevent motorcycle accidents
Consider these motorcycle safety tips to help avoid the risk of accidents and stay safe on the road.
According to the National Safety Council, during 2020, despite the fact that motorcycles represented 3% of all registered vehicles, they accounted for 14% of all vehicle fatalities. That makes it all the more important to do what you can to help keep you and other motorcycle riders safe.
Some tips for motorcycle safety and accident prevention
Wear long pants and sleeves made of leather or another thick, protective material, as well as gloves, eye protection and durable boots that cover your ankles. When it gets colder, don't forget to add layers or heavier gear designed for those temperatures.
Help increase your visibility by trying the following: Wear bright colors, add reflective elements to both your clothing and bike, use your headlight (day or night), ride in the section of lane that makes you most visible to motorists, and consider honking if you're not sure a motorist sees you.
Wear a helmet
Wear a full-face, Department of Transportation-approved helmet at all times — preferably light-colored, for maximum visibility. It is important to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle because in the case of an accident, its use decreases the risk of head injuries by 69%. Replace your motorcycle helmet regularly (a general rule of thumb is every five years) or after a crash.
Texting motorists are a very real danger, so be prepared for sudden lane changes and swerves. Watch for patches of sand, potholes, railroad tracks and other road hazards, as well as fellow motorcyclists.
In 2020, 35% of accidents occurred at intersections. A motorist turning left in front of you is perhaps the most common cause, so be extra cautious when driving through an intersection.
Don't drink or speed
Driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding are some of the most common causes for motorcycle accidents in our country. Staying sober and observing the speed limit can help you arrive safely at your destination.
Avoid bad weather
Study up on safe ways to ride in the rain, wind or whatever type of challenge Mother Nature tends to offer in your particular locale. If rain is in the forecast and you have to ride, pack rain gear to help stay dry and comfortable.
If you're a new motorcyclist, consider a motorcycle safety course. It's a good idea for experienced riders to take refresher courses, too. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers classes online and in person — some of which could net you an insurance discount.
A heads-up for motorists
Some collisions with motorcycles might be the non-motorcycle driver's fault. Remember, motorcyclists have the same rights as other drivers. Check your blind spot, signal your intentions and try to avoid distractions.