Three Keys To Safety For Motorcycle Riders
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10 Motorcycle Safety Tips

Apr 4, 2017 Peddicord & Townsend LLC Motorcycle Accident

There is something about riding a motorcycle that never gets old. Perhaps it is the adrenaline rush that comes with the quick acceleration, the ability to quickly weave through traffic and to hug turns at high speeds. Given the width of our roads, riding motorcycles in Kansas City can be thrilling. However, riding motorcycles comes with certain dangers, and everyone who loves being on a bike should be aware of them.

Motorcyclists and motorists on the open road have always had a precarious relationship. It is imperative that motorists obey the traffic laws and the rules of the road, taking care when changing lanes, use their turn signals properly and take bikers seriously when encountering them on the road. Motorcycle safety should always be on the forefront for all motorcyclists, and that includes things such as:

  • Checking tire pressure to prevent a blowout
  • Wearing proper eye protections
  • Avoiding potholes
  • Obeying the speed limit
  • Always wear a DOT approved motorcycle helmet
  • Wearing a helmet with a face shield if in inclement weather conditions
  • Completing a motorcycle safety course on proper motorcycle riding
  • Use safe riding techniques, such as using turn signals when you change lanes
  • Keep the motorcycle maintained, including front and rear brakes, handlebars with good grip, tire pressure as well as ensuring your headlights, brake lights and turn signals all functioning to DOT standards
  • Wearing other protective gear such as gloves, pads or full riding gear
  • Always obey the rules of the road and use caution whenever you’re riding

With that, this post will focus on the common dangers facing motorcycle riders and how they can avoid them.

1. Stay out of blind spots

There is a reason why you still see signs and bumper stickers that say “start seeing motorcycles.” A surprising number of car-motorcycle accidents are caused by lane changes and right hand turns where a driver does not see a rider. Because of this, motorcycle riders must be mindful of how drivers may be engrossed in their own worlds (instead of looking for hazards).

2. Don’t drink and ride

You hear all of the public service announcements imploring drivers not to drink and drive. Well, motorcycle riders should follow suit; especially considering how alcohol affects a rider’s judgment and balance.

3. Resist the urge to do tricks

Indeed, it is fun to show off your moves and add some additional thrills to your experience by doing tricks. However, doing them in traffic (as opposed to an open parking lot) could lead to trouble. So keep the tricks where they should belong: on the practice track.

4. Maintain good hydration

Keeping your body and mind hydrated is vital, especially during the hot summers we have here in the Kansas City metro area. Without proper hydration your brain can quickly become foggy and an accident could happen.

5. When in inclement weather, be extra cautious

The days here in Missouri can change on a dime, and we can go from a sunny, calm day to stormy inclement weather at the drop of a hat. When that happens, safe riding and riding techniques need to be at their best.

6. Take motorcycle riding courses

Keeping your skills honed and sharpened are part of how you can practice safe riding. Enrolling in a riding course to learn riding techniques is beneficial for experienced riders and new riders alike, affording them the opportunity to learn new riding techniques as well as participate in a motorcycle safety course. All of this is there to make your riding experience the best it can be.

7. Make your intent clear

Often motorcycle accidents are the results of one or both of the drivers not being able to clearly see what the other vehicle is intending to do. Lack of using turn signals when changing lanes, not seeing a brake light come on when the vehicle is slowing, or even not being aware of the motorcycle because it is in a blind spot. You cannot control what other motorists do, but you can control how you broadcast your intent when riding on the open road.

8. Be hypervigilant when riding with passengers

When you have a passenger it is vital they understand the rules of your bike, how you negotiate turns and merging, and what they need to do or not do to help make the ride as safe and enjoyable as possible.

9. Follow all traffic laws

It can be exhilarating to crack the throttle wide open and give it all it’s got, however speed limits and traffic laws are in place to provide motorists a guide for safely traveling that particular roadway or area.

10. Always wear protective gear

Accidents that involve motor vehicles can be devastating, but when there’s a motorcycle involved it can more easily turn tragic. No amount of riding techniques or motorcycle safety courses can make up for the protection you gain from a DOT approved motorcycle helmet, gloves, suits, eye protection or other protective gear. The best way to prevent a brain injury from a motorcycle accident is to have a proper Department of Transportation certified helmet – never ride without a helmet.

Safe riding will always be a combination of riding technique, protective gear, inclement weather and ultimately when you choose to follow traffic laws. It’s important to check the weather to ensure you don’t get caught in the middle of the highway when inclement weather rolls in, and is will always be vital to pursue continual education on safety

The preceding is not legal advice. If you have been injured in a car-motorcycle accident in the Kansas City metro area, we invite you to contact our motorcycle accident attorney.

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