For many bikers, motorcycles aren't just a mode of transportation; they're a way of life. The risks are part of what comes with the territory.
However, whether you're a novice biker or a veteran, it never hurts to have a refresher on how to stay safe on the road. Here are four safety habits you should always observe:
- Wear the right gear. A helmet, sturdy footwear, abrasion-resistant leg wear and other gear can go a long way toward protecting you in the event of crash. The right gear can prevent or reduce road rash, brain damage and other injuries.
- Watch out for cars turning left. More collisions happen when cars turn left into an oncoming biker than under any other circumstance. Drivers can easily misjudge your speed and distance - or even overlook you entirely. Always slow down and be on the alert when you're approaching a turning vehicle.
- Don't speed. Part of the appeal of biking is hitting the open road and letting it rip. However, don't overestimate your ability to remain in control. Speeding is a major contributor to serious or fatal crashes. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all motorcycle accidents involve speeding.
- Don't drink and ride. While this may seem like a no-brainer, far too many bikers hop on their motorcycles after a few too many drinks - with serious or fatal consequences. If in doubt, don't ride.
You can't eliminate every risk that goes along with biking, but following these tips can go a long way toward preventing accidents or minimizing their toll.