Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and motorcyclist known how enjoyable a Memorial Day weekend ride can be. Riding your motorcycle is one of the most enjoyable ways to travel known to man. Fighter pilots might argue better, but few others can boast of the maneuverability and smooth ride that you get on the open road.
Here in the beautiful state of Florida, the route options for a good motorcycle ride are plenty. But of course, riding isn’t all mufflers and butterflies.
It’s an unfortunate fact that over 5,000 people on average die in motorcycle accidents every year. Many thousands more are injured in accidents that are fender-benders for car drivers.
Here at The Crash Lawyer’s, we see an unfortunate number of motorcycle accidents each year. You can avoid a painful experience followed by a long arduous insurance process simply by following these essential motorcycle safety tips.
Motorcycle Safety Tip 1: Don’t Skimp on Safety Gear
Your protective gear can be all that stands between you and the pavement if an accident occurs, and it protects you from flying debris on the road. Make sure you are always fully protected when you go riding. Especially if you are planning to go more than 15 miles an hour.
Never leave home without your helmet. In many cases, a helmet is the difference between life and death, or consciousness and brain-death.
– Eye Protection
The last thing you want is to be blinded by an airborne cricket. Wear motorcycle glasses or a helmet with a full visor. A faceplate would be even better.
– Fingertips to Toes
Cover up. Wear leather or synthetic motorcycle-approved protective gear. If you hit the road, your gear may shred but your body won’t.
Don’t skimp on the neon-brights. Neons can stop an accident before it happens by getting a vehicle-driver’s attention. Make sure there’s at least one prominent stripe of Neon on your helmet and jacket.
Motorcycle Safety Tip 2: Check Your Bike Before Every Ride
When you’re up on two wheels, you need to be able to trust your bike to do exactly what you tell it to. This means vigilant maintenance every single time you mount up.
– Tires & Undercarriage
Start by kicking the tires and checking your undercarriage for any leaks or signs of trouble.
– Lights & Signals
Make sure your headlights, brake lights, hazards, and turn signals all work properly. In the event that you need them, the right signals can save your life.
-Throttle & Brakes
Never get on the road without testing that both the throttle and brakes are working correctly. Malfunctions in this area are almost certain to cause an accident if undetected.
Once mounted, check your mirrors. Make sure they are still positioned so you can see everything you need to see on the road.
Motorcycle Safety Tip 3: Clear Your Head
Never ever ride with a fuzzy head, no matter what the reason. Just like you need your bike in top condition, you also need to be in top form for awareness and reaction time.
– Ride Cool-Headed
Don’t ride angry, crying, or shaky-upset. Never ride in a condition that causes your eyes to tear or your muscles to tense up involuntarily. You need to be loose, relaxed and focused on the road.
– Ride Sober
Never get on your bike if you’ve done anything intoxicating or feel intoxicated. This can include drinking, marijuana, cough syrup, or even just staying up too late and feeling loopy.
Motorcycle Safety Tip 4: Know the Local Traffic
Local traffic is everything for a motorcyclist. You need to know what the other cars will do before they do it so you can maintain that safety cushion of distance and avoid getting creamed.
– Know the Road
Know the roads. know where they turn, where the left/right lanes end, and where the ice is the worst in the winter. Then drive with care and that knowledge in mind.
– Traffic Laws
Be aware of the local traffic laws. The length of the lights, whether you can right-turn on red, and your rights if hit by another car.
– Traffic Customs
Be aware of how other drivers drive in your region. Especially the cars and trucks. Know if they drive aggressively, how they prefer to handle freeway merging, or if lane changes without signal are common in the area. It could save your life.
Motorcycle Safety Tip 5: Drive Defensively
Finally, remember to drive as defensively as possible. Always defend your safety space cushion. Never trap yourself, get merged into, or forget to watch out for left turns.
– Riding With A Group You Know
If you’re riding with other motorcyclists, ride with a group you know and trust. This will help you all drive defensively together.
– Always Have an ‘Escape’
An escape is your route away from any potentially bad situation. At stop lights, hang back just in case you have to bail. On the road, don’t get boxed so that you can always zoom away if things get hairy.
– Don’t Push Your Comfort Zone
Never ride faster or more aggressively than you are comfortable with. If other riders are going too fast, hang back. If traffic is getting hairy, find a nice safe space between trucks to float slowly for a few miles while the crazies sort themselves out.
These motorcycle tips only scratch the surface but following them can save your life. However, if you or someone you know has already been injured in a motorcycle accident, we can help. The personal injury attorneys at Melkonian P.A. are dedicated to helping accident victims get the legal advice they need and a fair shake from the insurance company. For more information, contact us for a free consultation today!