by Rachel Fagerburg
May is National Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month, and cities across the country are pitching in to educate both riders and drivers about motorcycle safety and awareness. This month we are committed to spreading even more awareness and reminding everyone on the road of their responsibilities to take care of motorcyclists with preventative action. We’ve broken down the most important safety tips you can put into practice every time you’re on the road.
Drivers look twice and save a life.
With the majority of vehicles on the road being cars and trucks, it can be easy to forget that there are usually motorcyclists around you too. They are much smaller than four-wheeled vehicles and can easily fit into your blind spot, so before you change lanes, look twice!
Keep Your Distance
Motorcycles can brake more abruptly than larger vehicles, but it can be difficult to tell how fast they’re coming to a stop because the brake light is so small. To avoid a bad judgment call, allow yourself more distance than you think you need between your vehicle and the motorcycle in front. That way, you prevent an accident from happening.
Cars and trucks enclose its drivers and have features like airbags and seat belts, but motorcyclists don’t have the luxury of this kind of protection. Every time you get behind the wheel, pay attention to your surroundings and remember that you’re sharing the road with motorists with less protection than you.
Riders take a Motorcycle Safety Course
There are many motorcycle safety and awareness organizations that offer safety training courses all across the country. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers dozens of motorcycle training courses, both e-Courses and in-person, from basic riding to advanced. Simply enter your zip code into the one you’re interested in to find a class near you.
Commit to Improving Your Riding Skills
No matter how seasoned of a rider you are, you can always be better. You can research and sign up for locally advanced motorcycle riding classes or just spend more time on your bike, consciously abiding by the rules of the road and practicing responsible riding. As you gain more experience, you’ll be able to focus on the road around you rather than being distracted by perfecting your riding skills. The more practice you have, the safer you’ll be.
Wear Protective Attire
Lastly, wearing a helmet, gloves, riding pants, a long sleeve shirt or protective jacket, and sturdy over-the-ankle boots during your ride will give you the most protection in the event of an accident. We give more detailed information about appropriate rider clothing and how to find it in our blog post Top 5 Tips for Motorcycle Safety, so be sure to check it out.
And for both riders and drivers: never stop learning. Keep educating yourselves on motorcycle safety and the rules of the road, and continue to respect and look out for each other.
Motorcycle safety is a two-way street, and we hope these important reminders will equip you to carry National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month into every other month of the year. Ride safe! We’re with you on the road…you never ride alone!