5 Safety Tips For The Average Motorcyclist

It is no wonder why motorcycles are so popular in Florida. With all the wonderful warm weather all year round, it makes it both a fun and practical mode of transportation. However, motorcyclists need to keep in mind the extra dangers that come with it. Motorcycles have more accidents than any other vehicle on the road. You may think to yourself this happens due to motorcyclists being stereotyped as being reckless, but that really is not the case.

The vehicle itself simply causes it to be more vulnerable to accidents than cars are. With the motorcycle being smaller in size and depending a lot on the rider's ability to keep balance at all times, things that would be no problem in a car become a huge problem for the motorcyclist. In fact, cars themselves are a great danger for the average biker. So in order to promote the safety of the biker, we have come up with a couple tips to keep you on the road and out of the hospital.

1) Have the right gear!

It is essential to have the right gear before you hop onto your motorcycle. As much as you might want to just throw on a T-shirt and jeans, you should reconsider. A large portion of motorcycle injuries are due to a lack of protection between your skin and the road itself. Leather is the most recommended due to its thickness and it helps keep the warmth in. There are even some jackets that are specially designed for motorcyclists with extra padding.

This includes making sure you put on a helmet. You may feel like that is a no-brainer, but many motorcyclists still refuse to do so. This greatly puts them at risk for Traumatic Brain Injury, also known as TBI, which is near impossible to recover from. Those who do not die from their brain injury will often be permanently disabled and will be unable to support or take care of themselves. So as silly and unnecessary as it might feel, do not ride without a helmet. Your brain is one of the most important organs you have and it is certainly not an injury you can walk off after an accident.

2) Practice makes perfect!

Riding on a motorcycle is not the same as riding a bike or driving a car. So before you get ready to hit the road with your new ride, you may want to put in some practice first. Even if your not new to riding, you may also want to practice if you plan to use a new bike in order to get used to the differences in weight and balance. If your not sure where you can safely do so, you can check with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, also known as MSF, to find nearby riding areas and motorcycle safety courses.

3) Always be on the defensive!

Motorcycles are often hard for other vehicles to notice on the road. Many studies have shown that in collisions involving a car and motorcycle, car drivers were at fault about 60 percent of the time. Most had claimed that they were not even aware of the motorcycle until it was too late. This makes it increasingly dangerous for motorcyclists on the road. Due to this, you need to stay alert and be extra careful. Make sure you keep a safe distance between yourself and the other vehicles at all times.

4) Watch out for road hazards!

Since a motorcycle has less contact with the road than a car does, it makes road hazards much more dangerous. Things like bumps and potholes that are barely noticeable in a car, pose a greater threat to those on a bike. If you can not avoid the hazard, make sure to slow down as much as possible before encountering them. For things like railroad tracks and other hazards, you should also approach it at a right angle as much as possible to reduce skidding.

5) Avoid bad weather conditions!

If possible, you should avoid riding your motorcycle during poor weather conditions. Rain leaves the roads slippery and reduces your tires' grip on the road. This makes it very easy to slip and slide all over the road, hit other vehicles or crash into a ditch. That aside, it also cuts your visibility making it near impossible to see other vehicles or road hazards.

However, if you find yourself unable to avoid riding in these conditions, make sure to avoid sudden maneuvers. Slow down before making any stop, but also try to look out for other vehicles and might not be able to see you..