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10 Ways to Be Safe on a Motorcycle

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  • 10 Ways to Be Safe on a Motorcycle

    I found this article on About.com, written by Walter Kern. Spring is in the air, and more and more riders are hitting the streets. I thought this would be a good, succinct way to remind all riders, beginners and experienced alike, how to stay safe out there. I believe these are truly good rules to live by.

    10 Ways to Be Safe on a Motorcycle

    1.) Assume Drivers Can't See You: Ride assuming that you and your motorcycle are totally invisible to motorists. That means you must never assume that drivers can see you. The odds are, they can't so believe it yourself and always have an "out" for dangerous traffic situations.

    2.) Maintain Safe Spacing: Leave plenty of space in front and back and to the sides from all other vehicles. Be an island. Stay away from traffic as much as possible. This gives you more visibility and more time to react to situations.

    3.) Anticipate Trouble: Anticipate trouble situations and know what to do when you see them. Analyze what vehicles are doing and try to predict the outcome. Then make sure you're ready to avoid a bad traffic situation.

    4.) Beware of Oncoming Left Turners: Beware of oncoming motorists turning left in front of you at intersections. This is the leading cause of death of motorcycle riders. I'm deadly serious here. I have personally lost many friends to this accident. If you only remember one tip here, let it be this one. Slow down before you enter an intersection. Have an escape route planned. Stay visible. Don't travel too close to cars in front of you. Position your bike so it can be seen by the left turner. Eye contact is not enough.

    5.) Ride Your Own Ride: Don't try to keep up with your friends who may be more experienced. Know your personal limits. Ride your own ride.

    6.) Watch Out for Curves: Beware of taking curves that you can't see around. A parked truck or a patch of sand may be awaiting you.

    7.) Don't Give In to Road Rage: Do not give in to road rage and try to "get even" with another rider or motorist. If you follow these tips, most likely you won't fall victim to road rage. It's better to calm down, slow down, and collect your thoughts first. Then continue on and enjoy the ride. That's what we're all out there for in the first place.

    8.) Don't allow Tailgating: If someone is tailgating you, either speed up to open more space or pull over and let them pass. Life is too short. Remember that a bike can stop faster than a car so you don't want a truck on your tail when you find yourself trying to brake to avoid an accident. Also, don't tailgate the vehicle in front of you. Oncoming drivers can't see you.

    9.) Don't Be Blinded by Sunglare: Beware of riding your motorcycle into sun glare. All it takes is turning a corner and finding the sun either directly in your face or passing straight through your windshield. Some helmets have shields to block the sun. Face shields help somewhat. But sometimes you just find yourself blinded by the light. Slow down, pull over, shield your eyes and look for a way to change direction.

    10.) Avoid Riding at Night: Avoid riding at night, especially late Saturday night and early Sunday when drunken drivers may be on the road. It goes without saying that you shouldn't drink and ride. Going bar hopping? Leave the bike at home and find a designated driver.

    What Am I Trying To Say?

    The best way to be safe is to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course to learn the basic ways to control your motorcycle and to learn how to recognize traffic situations that you need to be ready to handle.

    Always wear protective clothing and a helmet. A tiny beanie helmet held on by a thin strap and affixed with a fake DOT sticker is not enough.

    Maintain your bike so it is safe too. Keep records of the intervals when you replace tires, chains, clutch cables, batteries, brakes, etc. You don't want an equipment malfunction to contribute to a motorcycle accident.

    Practice riding under all kinds of traffic situations. Ride with a buddy if at all possible. Avoid riding long distances alone.

    Become a member of any of our Motorcycles forums and read what other experienced riders have to say about how to ride safely.

    I want you to become an aged motorcyclist because you know how to survive on a motorcycle. I don't want to read about you in the newspaper or on a motorcycle forum or mailing list as yet another motorcycle statistic. Learn how to be safe and responsible on a motorcycle. That's why this Web site and forums exist and that's why I'm writing these tips. The rest is up to you.

    Be Safe

    • newmonkey
      #11
      newmonkey commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent observation. This is true of ALL drivers as well. As riders, no cage means we are much more vunerable, but you are so right - does no one any good to be paranoid either.

    • AlwaysLearnin
      #12
      AlwaysLearnin commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree with Sorg and Trials. It's all semantics. Those nerves are probably more self preservation than anything. It brings focus. Makes you hyper-aware. Then again, it's a brand new experience. Your mind needs some time to wrap itself around it, so some of it probably is just plain ol' nerves. But boy, are they GOOD nerves!

      Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

    • newmonkey
      #13
      newmonkey commented
      Editing a comment
      update! New riders are nervous. New riders need to forgive themselves for their stupid LITTLE errors. New riders need to remain calm, stay focused and remember to enjoy the ride all at the same time. Practise makes permanent - a wise quote indeed.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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