Top 9 Ways to Safely Ride Your Motorcycle

August 23, 2021
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Riding a motorcycle is one of life's most liberating and exhilarating experiences. The wind in your face, the sound of the engine growling, and the feeling that you're free as a bird - it's pure freedom. There are many safety precautions to take before hopping on your bike, but after all, those have been taken care of there are still plenty more ways for something to go wrong while riding. In this article, we'll be focusing on 9 tips for staying safe when you ride your motorcycle. Rue & Ziffra has been a leader in the community for motorcycle safety and helping those injured in motorcycle accidents. We have found that these tips will increase your chances of staying safe on the road greatly.

1. Wear a helmet

In the state of Florida, as long as you have an acceptable insurance policy and are over the age of 21, you are not required to wear a helmet in our state. Younger motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet regardless of the level of the insurance policy. Once an individual reaches the age of 21, it is up to them on how safe they are going to be on the road.

Motorcycle helmets typically feature four main components. These components are the outer shell, comfort padding, impact-absorbing liner, and a retention system. All of these features work with each other to protect the rider's head and face. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, a motorcyclist who does not wear a helmet has approximately three times the fatal risk of one who wears one. Helmets are 67% effective in preventing traumatic brain injuries and prevent 37% of the overall motorcycle deaths.

2. Check your tires and brakes before you ride

Before you get on your motorcycle, check your tires and brakes. You're not going anywhere until you inspect your tires and make sure they are properly inflated and have traction. When inspecting the brakes on your motorcycle, be sure to test how well it stops by braking in a safe area away from traffic. If there is any decrease in braking power, get the brake checked immediately as this will affect the safety of your ride. The attorneys here at Rue & Ziffra that deal with motorcycle accident cases see it time and time again. Riders had not checked their tires or brakes and it could have prevented an accident. Taking the extra time to make sure your vehicle is in proper working order can save you a great deal.

3. Keep both hands on the handlebars at all times

Most motorcycle riders know that handlebars are a very important part of the vehicle. Without them, you would not be able to steer the motorcycle and control it. However, handlebars are also used to help keep you safe when riding. When riding a motorcycle, make sure that at all times your hands are gripping onto the handles properly so that if an emergency situation comes up, you can react accordingly. Never assume that nothing bad is going to happen on a ride. Even if you are riding in safe conditions, the unexpected is always a possibility and you should hold on to your handlebar with both hands at all times.

4. Proper lane position

When riding your motorcycle, there are a few key strategies that you should always use. For instance, when on the street, maintain enough space between your bike and other cars to avoid collisions from left-turners or large objects in the roadway. In a multi-lane situation, place yourself in the left portion of the right lane.

Depending on your motorcycle riding style, you might feel best with the classic right-lane position. Aggressive types are probably already at the front of the line in the left lane. Remembering that you are closer to a left-turner means it’s more likely the driver doesn't see you. The close distance can restrict your response choices, sometimes eliminating them altogether. To prevent the most common left-turner accidents, braking is your only option. The best way to stay safe while riding a motorcycle is not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Planning ahead can be the difference between arriving safely or crashing on your motorcycle. You should always try to examine the traffic situation in front of you and figure out what might go wrong before it does.

Avoiding conflicts in space and time will keep you safe when riding a motorcycle. To do that, you have to focus your eyes on the path ahead of you. Positioning yourself in the right portion of the left lane puts you in the best place to see well ahead and adequately anticipate traffic movements that could lead to conflict. Our motorcycle accident lawyer speaks often about avoiding left-turn accidents. By maintaining proper lane positioning, you can reduce the chance of an incident.

5. Watch out for pedestrians

Motorcycle riders not only need to pay attention to the bigger cars and vehicles on the road but also pay attention to pedestrians that may not be paying attention to you. Even though the chances of a pedestrian hitting you are pretty low, we still recommend looking out for them any time you are on the road.

Avoiding a collision with a pedestrian is easier than avoiding one with another motor vehicle. A person walking in the street is usually only about a half-second away from hitting you. You have more time to react and maneuver out of their way, so if you see them before they move into your path, do it! Make sure not to hyper-focus on this though. It is most likely that there are other drivers who may still be paying attention to the road and could hit you. Also, it is possible that the pedestrian may suddenly change their mind about walking across the street at that moment. Although they are most likely to be farther from your path than another motor vehicle, you still need to remain alert for these situations because pedestrians can appear in an instant and without warning.

6. Always wear bright colors

In the motorcycle culture, black is the color of choice for the average rider. However, in order to make sure that you are visible to other drivers on the road, we recommend choosing more colorful clothing and gear. Due to the small size of a motorcycle compared to an automobile, using bright colors can help drivers see you properly before they hit you. It is important for you to have proper visibility while riding your bike. Wearing the right clothing can make a difference between getting hit by an unseen car and avoiding any collisions altogether.

If you are riding at night, you should definitely consider wearing bright colors or lights in order to be seen more easily. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your safety when riding a motorcycle. Bright colors have the power to make you more visible to other drivers and therefore, safer.

7. Never ride after drinking or doing drugs, this includes prescription medications

We all know that driving under the influence can be devastating. The fact that motorcycles have much less padding than a car means that any injuries sustained in an accident are likely to be more severe. This is why it is imperative for you to never get on your motorcycle after drinking, doing drugs, even prescription drugs. Doing so may put your life in danger.

8. Completely stop at all stop signs and red lights

This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many motorcycle riders do not stop completely at a stop sign or traffic light. Not only can this cause an accident, but it could also result in a ticket. Do your best to always come to a complete stop when you are supposed to and don't forget to signal before you move. This will help prevent and avoid motor vehicle accidents on your motorcycle.

Always obey all traffic laws, no matter how inconvenient they may be. Even if you do not see another car or truck in sight, it is still important for you to follow the speed limit and any other traffic laws that are applicable to the road you are riding on.

9. Always wear a DOT-approved helmet

We have discussed the importance of wearing a helmet while riding your motorcycle. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet is essential to your safety while riding, regardless of the type of motorcycle that you are operating. A helmet that has the appropriate DOT-approved markings on it has been tested to make sure that it can protect your head in the event of an accident. If you have a helmet that does not have these markings, may not protect you in the event of an accident. Make sure that it is DOT-approved and try to get one if possible.

If you are in a motorcycle accident...

Motorcycle accidents can happen, even if you have done your due diligence by following all the safety measures. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, do not move your motorcycle. Notify the proper authorities that you are involved in an accident and wait for them to arrive. Do everything that they require of you so that no one else is injured or starts moving around carelessly. When the police arrive at the scene, make sure to give all the information that you have available to them.

If you are injured, please seek medical attention immediately if. Even you do not feel that you are injured, it is important to make sure that the motorcycle accident does not cause any long-term damage. If you have been in an accident and are experiencing pain or discomfort, please go to the emergency room for help as soon as possible.

Once you have been treated for your injuries, you should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible so that they are able to help make sure you are properly represented against the insurance company. Rue & Ziffra personal injury attorneys have been representing the people of Port Orange, Daytona Beach, Deland, Palm Coast, Lake Mary, and the surrounding areas for over 40 years. Please feel free to contact us at any of our office locations for a free consultation.

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