At the start of any motorcycle season, after a week of not riding, or if you’ve been away from motorcycle riding for a while – it is important to refresh your motorcycle skills. A recap of your rider know-how before jumping on the bike again is crucial when you’re rusty. A quick brush up of your motorcycle rider safety skills won’t take long and get your mental and physical muscles back in the game.
Did you know. . . that motorcyclists are seriously injured and killed at a higher rate than our four-wheeled counterparts. In North America, eleven percent (11%) of all highway deaths, each year, are motorcycle fatalities. In the USA, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than six million motorcycles are registered in the USA – which is about three percent of all registered vehicles in the country!
The fact that motorcycles account for 11% of all highway deaths is a number we all want to cut!
Factors Resulting in High Numbers of Motorcycle Crashes
There are a variety of factors studied and researched which contribute to the high numbers of motorcycle crashes each year.
– Inexperienced riders.
– Insufficient training.
– Dangerous road conditions.
– Low visibility to other drivers.
As we know, motorcycles provide almost no protection in crashes. As riders / motorcyclists we are more likely to be killed in accidents than drivers of other vehicles. Therefore we must manage our risks.
If you haven’t already taken into hand these good motorcycle riding practices listed below, take a review. You’ll find these are useful and provide a quick refresher for your Motorcycle Rider Safety!
However, motorcycle crashes can be largely prevented if you’re serious about riding and take the following safety precautions to help you have a better, safer ride:
- Attend a motorcycle training class to learn safe riding techniques and behind-the-wheel skills.
- Use a motorcycle that fits your size. Make sure you can comfortably reach all controls and that both feet touch the ground when sitting on the seat.
- Choose a motorcycle that matches your use. The NHTSA urges riders not to buy a trail bike for highway use or a highway motorcycle for off-road use.
- Practice riding in an empty parking lot to gain experience in a safe environment.
- Wear a full face or open face helmet approved by the DOT (BSA, EU, relevant to your land/place, etc.) Department of Transportation. Anything else won’t do the job!
- Wear protective clothing, including gloves, shoes, long pants, long sleeves and eye protection.
- Drive defensively and assume other drivers do not see you –you’re invisible.
Be especially careful at intersections and driveways. The NHTSA underlines the years of common stats and reports that about 50 percent of motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur at intersections (where two roads cross/meet.
Be sure your motorcycle is mechanically well maintained, and that you adhere to your motorcycle’s scheduled maintenance – recommended in your owners manual.
Like the pilot of an aircraft, it’s your respect for the craft, and for motorcycling that will keep you happily on the road for a lifetime!
Take safety into your own hands – it is your responsibility.
MOTORESS director, Vicki Gray is a basic and advanced motorcycle instructor – certified for over 25 years. She is a motorcycle licensing examiner and has instructed, examined and licensed riders for European and North American road racing schools.