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Top ways new riders can stay safe

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Oct 16, 2018 10:33:07 AM

Fall ride on motorcycleAutumn is a great time of year to enjoy your new motorcycle license. Enjoying the vivid colors and sights of the season helps riders truly appreciate how this experience is simply different from riding inside a car. Unfortunately, that difference can also put new motorcycle riders at greater risk of harm during this time of year. Animals often jump out onto the road in front of vehicles during these months, and they can be harder to spot as the days get shorter. Car drivers may be protected in these instances; motorcycle riders, however, are at much greater risk of harm.

Riding a motorcycle may be a fun experience, but it can also be a risky one. Statistically, motorcycle riders are more likely to be injured in traffic collisions than drivers of other vehicles. This is primarily due to the fact that motorcycles offer less protection than cars, trucks, and other types of vehicles on the road.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ride one. Although motorcycle accident statistics can be scary, they simply show it’s extra important to exercise a certain degree of caution when operating your bike. If you’re a new motorcyclist, it’s particularly important that you understand how to keep yourself safe on the road. The following tips will help.

1. Don’t drink and drive. Obviously, you should never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. That said, it’s worth noting that motorcycle riders tend to be vulnerable to accidents at lower BAC levels than car drivers. Thus, it’s clear that there’s no safe amount you can drink if you plan to ride a motorcycle while the alcohol is still affecting you.

2. Keep a safe distance. Again, motorcyclists are more likely to be injured in traffic collisions than other drivers because they don’t have the structure of a larger vehicle protecting them. That’s why it’s important to constantly maintain a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles when operating a motorcycle.

3. Don’t expect other drivers to see you. Unfortunately, one of the best ways to stay safe on the road is to assume that other drivers are distracted. Distracted driving is on the rise due to the ubiquity of cell phones. Additionally, because motorcycles are relatively small vehicles, they’re harder to spot on the road. Driving defensively and assuming other drivers aren’t paying attention will help you avoid dangerous situations.

4. Obey posted speed limits. Don’t give in to the temptation to ride your motorcycle faster than the posted speed limit. It’s always unsafe to exceed these limits. On a motorcycle, when you’re less protected than other drivers, it’s particularly dangerous.

5. Wear a helmet. You’re much more likely to sustain major injuries in a traffic collision if you don’t wear your helmet. Wearing it at all times when operating a motorcycle is crucial.

6. Be careful around turns. Motorcycle accidents are particularly common on curves and bends in the road. Thus, it’s important to exercise additional caution when driving around turns and on curvy roads. Reduce your speed if you know a turn is coming up.

Again, while the appeal of a motorcycle is easy to understand, properly operating one is also a major responsibility. Keep these points in mind and you’ll keep yourself safe out on the road.

Author Bio: Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

Topics: Motorcycle Safety

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