A recent report by the GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association) has some good news about motorcyclist fatalities in 2017: the number of fatal accidents decreased by 5.6%. However, the reality is that nearly 5,000 motorcycle riders died on US roadways in 2017. That number is shockingly high and, sadly, many of those deaths were preventable by following some simple motorcyclist safety tips.
Motorcyclist Safety Tips
- Wear a helmet. Forget all the nonsense about helmets causing cervical trauma or blocking visibility. Motorcycle helmets prevent brain injury, reduce the risk of cervical spine injury, and save lives. Wear a quality full-faced helmet that is properly certified and replace the helmet as recommend by the manufacturer.
- All the gear, all the time. Buy good quality motorcycle riding apparel and wear it. This means sturdy boots, abrasion resistant pants (jeans are marginal, motorcycle specific pants are better), a proper riding jacket, and gloves. There is gear available for all seasons and all weather conditions. As with helmets, the proper gear can reduce injuries and help save lives in the event of an accident. Buy the right gear and wear it every time you ride.
- Ride sober. Motorcycle riders involved in a fatal crash are actually more likely to be impaired than the driver of a car. This statistic is simply mind-blowing, given the intense concentration and coordination required to ride a motorcycle. This tip is simple: alcohol and motorcycles should never be paired. For the safety of other riders and yourself, do not drink and ride.
- Ride alert. Riding a motorcycle requires a high degree of alertness. A motorcyclist must constantly be on alert for road debris, other vehicles, wildlife, and a dozen other things. Do not ride if you are tired, distracted, stressed, or otherwise unable to focus on operating your motorcycle safely.
- Take a rider safety course. Even experienced riders can benefit from a refresher course every few years. Rider safety courses can help with low-speed handling (counter weighting), high-speed cornering (counter steering), and overall sharpening of riding skills.
- Ride at a safe speed. Excessive speed is a factor in about 30% of all motorcycle fatalities. Many motorcycles are fast; in some cases stupidly fast. In the hands of an experienced rider, they can be ridden at speeds far beyond the posted limit. The issue with speed, however, is that it leaves very little room for error. Braking distance is increased, lean angle in corners is increased, and your reaction time is decreased. Yes, it’s fun to zip through the twisties – just do so at a safe and responsible speed.
Motorcycle Insurance Quote
Lastly, protect your motorcycle and yourself with quality and affordable motorcycle insurance from the professionals at Safeguard Insurance. Several of the staff at Safeguard have been riding bikes of all types since our youth. Contact us today for a no-obligation quote with several of our A-rated motorcycle insurance carriers. We hope these motorcyclist safety tips are useful and help you to commit to riding safely!