How to Avoid Getting into a Motorcycle Accident
One of the downsides of motorcycle ownership is the increased risk of being involved in a serious traffic accident. Using data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Motorcycle-Licenses.com team notes that in 2013, there were 4,668 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes. That year, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. When measuring traffic crashes by vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclist fatalities occurred 26 times more frequently than passenger car fatalities. Review the following sections to learn more about not becoming one of these statistics yourself.
Riders of all proficiency levels can benefit from a motorcycle safety course, which teaches riders how to hone their riding skills and avoid accidents. Many providers offers motorcycle safety courses in all 50 states and online. There are also motorcycle safety-course providers that offer kits to riding clubs and other groups who want to host safety events with themes such as Group Riding, Marijuana Awareness and Aging Awareness.
It should go without saying, but never drink or use drugs before riding your bike. In 2013, 40 percent of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes were alcohol-impaired. Always play it safe and call a cab or a rideshare if you’ve been drinking. The Motorcycle-Licenses.com team advises that it’s better to have to come back for your bike than to risk killing yourself or others by driving impaired.
Keep Up Maintenance
A well-maintained motorcycle is usually a safe one. Check your tires frequently and replace them when needed to prevent skidding and sliding. Also keep tires rotated and properly filled. Change the oil at regular intervals and have a mechanic check the engine and brakes often.
Ride your bike to a large, empty parking lot and practice speeding up, then slamming on your brakes. Concentrate on keeping the braking steady while keeping your steering straight. Knowing what this feels like trains you to respond in a similar manner when a real traffic mishap occurs. Some people still believe that the best way to stop a motorcycle is to turn it on its side and slide into a full stop. This outdated method can cause serious damage to you and your bike.
The experts at Motorcycle-Licenses.com understand how easy it is to fly full throttle down a wide-open road, but safety demands that you resist this temptation. You never know when a person, car or animal might turn out in front of you, or when your wheels might hit a hidden patch of water, ice or gravel. The higher your speed, the harder it is to turn properly and stop fully. Avoid speeding through tight turns, otherwise you might fly off the road. Speeding was a factor in 34 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes in 2013. Slow down and enjoy the ride.
Check your mirrors often and keep your eyes open for any obstructions ahead. Always be aware of what the cars around you are doing and behave as though no one can see you, because they often don’t. Give plenty of room to merging cars and be particularly cautious behind cars that are turning left in front of you. The most common type of motorcycle collision is when a car’s driver doesn’t see a biker and turns left on top of them.
Wear Proper Gear
Finally, although the goal is to avoid getting into a motorcycle accident, the Motorcycle-Licenses.com experts advise you to always be prepared for the worst by wearing proper safety gear. Outfit yourself in the best helmet, gloves, riding boots and protective clothing you can afford.