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Motorcycle Safety: Some Thoughts For Spring

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bikeAs the weather for riding gets better and more motorcyclists begin to hit the roads, I wanted to start talking about motorcycle safety.

Since bikes leave their riders completely exposed, the chance of serious injury or death is so much greater in the event of a motorcycle accident. As a result, it is absolutely vital to wear a helmet, as police sergeant Jeff Whisler expresses in a letter published in The Topeka Capital-Journal:

Fact: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show helmet use reduces the chance of brain injury by 67 percent.

Think about those odds. If there was a 67 percent chance you could win the lottery, how many tickets would you buy? Yet many riders are willing to gamble on the 33 percent chance it won’t happen to them.

Wearing a helmet is the easiest thing you can do to immediately increase your odds of surviving a crash. With that in mind, it is worth considering what else can be done to make the road safer. Here are some basic tips to help reduce your chances of an accident:

1) Make sure your motorcycle is the right size for you.

2) In addition to a helmet, wear good protective clothing. Long sleeves, eye protection, long pants and gloves are all very helpful in preventing or reducing motorcycle injuries.

3) Ride the right bike. Don’t use a highway model off-road or a trail bike on the highway; the different models are different for a reason.

4) Drive defensively, and always stay alert. Never assume that other motorists can see you.

5) And, of course, don’t ever ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Image by Peter Megyeri/mpeterke, used under its Creative Commons license.


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