Whether you are the driver of a motorcycle or driving by one, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings in order to stay safe and avoid a motorcycle accident.
All drivers must be in the mindset of sharing the road with motorcyclists, while motorcyclists must make themselves easily visible to other drivers.
Safety tips for motorcycle drivers
- Always wear a helmet. It doesn’t matter how far you’re traveling on your bike. Riders without a helmet are 40% more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries (ConsumerReports).
- Wear the proper riding gear. Yes, it may be very warm outside which is probably why you’re taking your bike out for a ride in the first place, but wearing the proper clothing can keep you protected.
Why? If you should slide out, you want to avoid exposing as much skin as you possibly can to avoid injuries of all kinds. Wearing bright colors is also recommended, as other drivers will be able to see you better
- Your gear should include:
- A leather (or thicker material) jacket
- Full-length pants.
- Be a defensive driver. Keep an eye out for cars or larger vehicles quickly switching lanes or speeding up and slowing down around you. A tip that applies to everyone, but especially to motorcycle drivers, is not to tailgate. It is more difficult for motorcycle drivers to have enough stopping and reaction time than larger vehicles.
Safety tips for other drivers on the road:
- Check and re-check your blind spots. Motorcycles are easily hidden in a car’s blind spot or by other objects on the road. Take an extra moment to look around if you are driving near motorcyclists.
- Give the motorcyclist more space. Since motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles on the road, they may seem further away. Be sure to allow yourself enough stopping time if you are driving near a motorcycle and make it a point to consider a motorcycle closer than it looks.
For more information on motorcycle safety, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s page, as May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month!