The Law Tigers want to remind riders that motorcycle safety begins with some very basic tips. With congestion ever increasing on our streets and highways, riders need to be proactive in protecting themselves from injury. Adhering to some fundamental motorcycle safety tips can help riders reduce the possibility of being involved in an accident.
It is easy to become complacent while riding and neglect to follow even the most basic motorcycle safety tips. Checking the mirrors is not always enough when changing lanes. A visual check can reveal that vehicle that is sitting in a rider's blind spot. Before every lane change, a rider should perform a full head turn to the left and right to make sure there are no vehicles in his or her blind spot.
Taking the proper line is the safest and most efficient method for negotiating a turn. A rider should approach turns wide, starting a right turn from the left side of the lane, or a left turn from the right side. Following the proper line requires the least amount of braking and lean, while providing the best view around blind turn.
Momentum tends to carry a bike forward during hard brakes. This shifts the weight of the bike to the fork, compressing it as the rear lightens and begins to lift up, making the rear brake easier to lock. This is the reason why the front brake is designed to manage a greater percentage of the braking load. Successful hard braking is a skill that benefits from practice. A quiet, well maintained road is an ideal place for a rider to practice hard stops. If during hard stops using the mostly the front brakes, a rider is prone to locking the rear, he can try keeping the bike in gear when braking, and pulling the clutch just before coming to a complete stop.
Cornering with certain bikes can be tricky. Popular types such as cruisers and dressers are typically low to the driving surface, making it easy to drag the pegs, floorboards, pipes, or panniers in a turn and even lever weight off the tires to cause the bike to slide. One solution is to adjust the suspension to yield the maximum amount of spring preload on the shock absorbers. Another solution is to install longer shocks and fork springs.
Some motorcycle safety tips for passengers include:
Over rough terrain such as gravel parking lots or dirt roads, riders want to avoid dropping their feet and walking their bikes. The motorcycle's low torque and low center of gravity provide adequate stability for many road conditions.
A rider tends to steer the bike in the direction he or she is looking. When approaching a pot hole or other obstacle in the road, riders should shift their gaze to where they want to go rather than focusing on the object they want to avoid.
Wearing the proper protective gear is another one of the most fundamental motorcycle safety tips, and one that is often ignored. In a wreck, boots, gloves, long pants, and a sturdy jacket can lessen the severity of cuts and abrasions, while the helmet, thought not required in all states, can reduce the risk of catastrophic head injury.
Riding a motorcycle is a skill that is continually improved with practice. A variety of riding situations can be effectively recreated in a parking lot, allowing riders to practice maneuvers and techniques that will help them to be more prepared if they are faced with the real thing. Some exercises for riders to try:
Be responsible. Avoid mixing alcohol and riding. DUI laws apply to motorcyclists, and alcohol plays a role in a significant number of deadly accidents
As riders ourselves, we understand the importance of motorcycle safety. For more information about these and other motorcycle safety tips, contact Law Tigers.