Did you know that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month? At Law Tigers, we are big proponents of riding safely and doing whatever you can to minimize your chance of getting in an accident. Here are some tips for how to stay safe out on the road.
TIP 1: Always wear a helmet.
We recommend wearing a full-faced helmet from the Department of Transportation. Why? Because it protects you from the wind and protects your head. We want to avoid or reduce traumatic brain injuries. Studies show that you can reduce neck and brain injuries by as much as 65% by wearing a helmet.
TIP 2: Wear the proper riding gear
In addition to wearing a helmet, you also want to make sure that you wear a motorcycle specific riding jacket, and appropriate pants, boots and gloves. If your helmet doesn’t have a visor, also make sure you wear eye protection.
TIP 3: Get comfortable with your motorcycle.
It’s really important to have a good fit with you in your motorcycle. Making sure your feet can reach the ground and that it’s not too heavy for you is important to you being safe on the roadway.
TIP 4: Perform a pre-ride inspection.
We use an acronym to help us quickly remember what to check on the bike before we get out on the road:
T – Tires and wheels
C – Controls
L – Lights and electrical
O – Oil and other lubricants
C – Chassis
S – Sidestand
TIP 5: Ride defensively.
Make sure you give yourself enough time and space for your comfort level and skill level as a rider. Also make sure that you look for escape routes. For example, when you’re at an intersection if there is a vehicle coming towards you, determine a way to exit without being impacted or affected by that vehicle.
Additionally, make sure you maintain at least a two second following distance that gives you enough time to react to abrupt stops so you can hit the brakes and avoid a collision.
TIP 6: Follow the rules of the road
Research shows that riders who are riding outside the limits of the law are a leading cause of crashes. If you want to reduce your chance of being in an accident, we recommend following the speed limit, fully stopping at lights and stop signs and obeying all traffic signals.
TIP 7: Be aware of weather conditions.
Make sure to check the weather before you head out and if the forecast calls for rain, either avoid riding or bring the appropriate gear. Keep in mind that rain gear needs to keep you dry, but also help you be more visible in challenging driving conditions.
When there’s rain on the road, make sure you increase your braking distance. Don’t slam on the brakes to create skids and just be aware of your surroundings because rain and poor weather conditions which also includes wind can adversely affect your ability to react and perform on a motorcycle.
TIP 8: Avoid drinking and riding.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that more than 50% of rider fatalities involve some form of drug impairment so we’re asking you to AVOID DRINKING AND RIDING.
TIP 9: Do not text and drive.
Do not get distracted by your phone. When you’re traveling at 60 miles / hour, 1 second is equal to 300 hundred feet. (That’s the length of a football field!) That one second you look away to check a text could be the difference between colliding with a vehicle and avoiding it.
Please do not be distracted. Keep your eyes on the road and do not look down at your phone or anything else for that matter.
TIP 10: Do not tailgate.
This tip applies to both the motorcyclists and motorists.
You’re supposed to keep a two second distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. You’re also supposed to give an additional two seconds of visibility to anticipate what’s coming in case you need to evade an accident or an oncoming vehicle.
It only takes a second to rear end someone or be rear ended. Reaction times tend to be slow and you’ve got to give yourself that margin of space to react and hit the brakes when someone in front of you is breaking.
Please maintain a safe distance. Do not tailgate.
TIP 11: Be extra cautious when making a left turn at an intersection.
This is the number one area on the road where cars and motorcycles interact.
All drivers should take a little bit of additional time to make sure the roads are clear before performing that left turn at an intersection. When performing a left turn at an intersection with multiple lanes, make sure that you can see clearly in each lane before performing that left turn across all of the lanes.
TIP 12: Use proper lane changing techniques.
There are 5 recommended steps to make a safe lane change:
1. Check your mirrors
2. Use your signal
3. Check your blind spots
4. Perform the lane change and number
5. Cancel out your signal.
TIP 13: Stay in your lane at the corners.
We’re seeing in different traffic reports that motorists are actually coming into opposing lanes when driving around a corner, especially in areas where it’s tight and twisty. All drivers need to make sure they have control over their vehicles and are staying in their lane at all times.
At the end of the day, we’re all sharing the road. We’re all trying to get somewhere.Let’s be safe and make the roads a safer place for all of us. We all have loved ones we want to get home to safely.