Best Safety Tips for May: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Safety Awareness Month

Did you know May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month? Motorcycle riders of all skill levels can take this month to review local traffic laws and safety tips.

Even experienced riders may develop bad habits over time and can benefit from some self-corrective action. Here are motorcycle safety tips for all seasons, and especially this month.

Wear Your Appropriate Protective Gear

Dress for the slide, not the ride. Having properly functioning lights and reflectors on your motorcycle and wearing protective boots, leathers, and a DOT-approved helmet helps you stay safe on the road. Lights and reflectors make you more visible to other road users, helping you avoid accidents. Not every state requires a helmet. However, after an accident, you never hear a motorcyclist regret wearing one. 

If you are in an accident, wearing heavy-duty jeans, leathers, closed-toed boots, long sleeves, and a properly sized helmet can prevent severe injuries like head trauma and road rash. Additionally, some states require motorcycle riders to wear eye protection, including a helmet with a visor or separate goggles or safety glasses.

Whether you’re riding in your home state or traveling, make sure you study local helmet and eye protection laws. Update your gear when it starts to wear out to ensure you stay safe and in compliance. If you do get into an accident, have your helmet checked for safety before heading back out on the road.

Follow Traffic Laws

Traffic laws exist for safety. If you follow the same rules as everyone else around you, you’ll be safer than if you disregard the local traffic laws.

Remember that following the posted speed limits, passing laws, and rules for using hand signals not only protects you as a rider but also other motorists. Speeding reduces the amount of time you have to react if a vehicle suddenly pulls out in front of you. Passing in no-passing zones can lead to a side swipe or a head-on collision on blind curves. Failing to indicate a turn or stop can cause another vehicle to hit you from behind.

While motorcyclists can ride two abreast in most states (lane-sharing), they may not ride next to another vehicle type in the same lane (lane-splitting) except in California. Most motorcyclists sharing a lane will ride in a staggered formation for added safety.

Never Drink and Ride and You’ll Never Get a DUI

Just like drinking and driving is never a good idea, neither is drinking and riding a motorcycle. You should also avoid riding if you’re under the influence of any alcohol or drugs, legal or illegal. Even prescription medications can cause adverse effects that make it dangerous for you and others if you try to ride after taking them.

Perform Pre-Ride Inspections

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is the perfect time to review how to perform a pre-ride inspection. Whenever you take your bike out on the road, be sure to check the:

  • Brakes, lights, and turn signals
  • Tire pressure and condition
  • Fluid levels and lines
  • Condition of your protective gear
  • Weather on your route

Make Yourself Visible to Others on the Road 

Reflective vests and helmet reflectors improve your visibility and increase your chances of being seen when moving through another driver’s blind spot. Other drivers who cause accidents with motorcycle riders often say, “I didn’t see them” when the dust settles. Driving with your headlamp on, having a bright yellow reflective vest, and wearing reflectors on your helmet can make it less likely for you to end up a statistic.

Celebrate Motorcycle Safety Awareness with Law Tigers

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Law Tigers, attorneys who ride, represent injured motorcycle riders across the country. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, call us at 888-863-7216 for a free case evaluation. Never ride alone with our free rider benefit kit.