Motorcycles are a popular hobby for many people. Unfortunately, motorcycle collisions remain highly represented in fatalities from vehicle collisions in the United States. It is important for both motorcycle riders and other drivers on the road to be aware of safety measures to prevent collisions and serious injuries or death.
Motorcycle riders must be properly licensed before riding. A regular driver’s license is not sufficient for operating a motorcycle. Getting licensed typically involves both a written course and testing and training on the bike, but it varies state by state. Check your state’s requirements for motorcycle safety training and licensing and make sure you are up to date on all your licensing requirements before hitting the road on your bike.
Wearing a helmet is essential for motorcycle safety. You should make sure your helmet meets the safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and that it fits properly and is in good repair. Wearing a helmet is the best way to avoid serious injury if you are involved in a collision on your bike. Wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs, with sturdy boots and gloves, is another way to avoid physical harm or reduce the severity of injuries.
Know the rules of the roads you are traveling on your motorcycle and obey all traffic lights and stop signs and lane markings. Do not ride too close to other vehicles, and always stay aware of your surroundings -- especially while changing lanes.
Make sure your motorcycle is roadworthy and in good order. This includes regularly checking tires, brakes, lights, and steering equipment. Outfit your bike with reflective gear and use your headlights to make sure other vehicles can see you clearly while you ride.
Drivers on the road who encounter motorcycles also need to take steps to avoid collisions. You should always maintain distance with a motorcycle and never tailgate or speed up behind a motorcycle. Take extra precaution to check your blind spots before passing or changing lanes, as motorcycles can more easily be hidden in a driver’s blind spot, leading to collisions during lane changes. Avoid shining your high beams at a motorcycle, as they are more blinding and problematic for motorcyclists than other vehicles and can cause the rider to become startled or lose visibility while operating their bike. Taking a few extra precautions can help create safer roads for both motorcycles and cars to travel.