When looking at the thrill of getting a motorcycle on the road and the reality of motorcycle riding day-to-day, people understandably want to know are motorcycles safe? The answer is that motorcycles can be dangerous; driving a car can be dangerous, riding a bicycle can be dangerous, and going for a jog can be dangerous.
This isn’t to diminish the importance of motorcycle safety, it’s the opposite- motorcycles are powerful machines that interact with other volatile variables. However, when combined with proper safety training, gear, and riding experience, a motorcycle does not carry significantly more risk than driving a car.
Read more to learn about how these tips for motorcycle tips for safety can give you peace of mind while on the road.
Should I Drive a Motorcycle or a Car?
To begin with, motorcycle culture is extremely up-front about the risks taken. Though we would like to believe the same can be said about driving a car, it is normalized to the point where people do it without thinking it through all the time. For learning to ride a bike, the messaging is clear early: this machine is less protected, and though the thrill of speed is there, you must be accountable for your safety.
As a result, motorcycle riders are more attentive to their surroundings, can benefit from additional visibility, maneuverability, and a lot of other ways to decrease risk. It is a difficult argument to navigate in a big-picture sense, because when accidents do happen, the motorcycle rider can fare worse than the car driver. But there are a lot of things to consider before you ever step foot on the bike to help protect you, like proper gear, safe riding techniques, and a healthy respect for the rules of the road. Let’s look at how we can be the most safety-concerned riders while still enjoying a lifestyle of adventure.
Motorcycle Safety Gear
The right motorcycle safety gear is one of the most integral topics of motorcycle safety, and in our opinion, not open for compromise. The term All The Gear, All The Time is a mantra we believe in, and it has saved lives for as long as motorcycles have existed.
This means you need to be wearing a full-face helmet, true riding jacket, gauntlet gloves, true riding pants, and boots for every ride. When you’re getting into motorcycles, make sure you research proper gear first before ever getting onto a bike. In fact, we would say that as you first get into riding, knowing about each piece of gear is even more important than what type of bike style you’re in to. There is specific motorcycle gear for women, adventure motorcycle gear, and the materials may vary. What is consistent is the commitment to wearing gear every time.
With that being said, the gear won’t do all the work. You have to have a riding education and understanding of your own skills and a healthy appreciation of the other variables that the open road can present to you.
Safest Motorcycles to Ride
While we argue that a big part of motorcycle safety is the responsibility of the rider, we have to bring up that not all bikes are created equal. However regardless of what style of motorcycle you are interested in, the most dangerous one is one you are not skilled at riding.
This means investing in broad motorcycle safety training classes is a great place to start. Then you should additionally put the work in to become proficient on the bike you’re going to ride the most often. You should learn how to assess the proper seat height, bike weight, and know the maintenance requirements for what you ride. This applies to all makes and models, and can help keep some of the faster and sportier bikes within a range of safety that is comfortable.
While the accidents are more frequent on lighter, faster bikes, we can logically trace this to behavior as a large contributor. People looking for the pure thrill of speed may be riding more aggressively, and people aren’t typically trying difficult turns and tricks on cruisers.
Thus, if you are looking to invest in a bike that seems like it might have more risk, ask yourself, “What causes these 125cc and other light bike motorcycle accident statistics?” The answer can be that a rider profile leads to variance. We believe that responsible riders can even learn on these light and mid-size bikes.
Ultimately, the best tool for safe motorcycle riding is your brain. Which means helmets are twice as important!
Tips for Motorcycle Safety
As we brought up earlier, riding isn’t an activity that is just affected by you and your bike skills. Especially if you are on a motorcycle in a high-traffic city or highway, there will be outside factors at play. Though motorcycle riders are usually more alert, it’s still good to brush up on what you’re dealing with and how these external factors can affect your ability to ride safely.
- Know the weather and how it affects your ride: Humans and nature have battled each other for our entire existence, and this applies to motorcycle riding in a significant way. Rain, cold, and heat all have different effects on you and your bike. Rain can reduce traction (which motorcycles already have less of) and visibility, cold and ice can make road conditions slippery and dangerous for you and other drivers.he heat can also affect you and the performance of your bike. Know what you’re dealing with;the safest thing to do is avoid riding in inclement weather.
- Other drivers are your biggest risk: Motorist awareness is one of the keys to riding safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the biggest cause of motorcycle crashes was other motorists turning left- 42 percent of accidents, in fact!
When it comes down to it, an attentive motorcycle rider won’t have the same disadvantages as a car. People in cars are distracted by phones, passengers, and have decreased vision. They also don’t need to be on their toes at all times to operate their vehicle, which means they’re in a different mode while driving. What this means is the responsibility falls on you as the motorcycle rider to look ahead for potential moves that could compromise your safety.
- Road hazards: You’re wearing the right gear, you’ve checked the weather, and are on the lookout for reckless drivers. Well, there’s still more to look out for- the road can also be a danger if you’re not paying attention. Potholes, inconsistent road textures, and debris in the road can all be landmines for riders. Additionally, the laws and road signs are critical to pay attention to. Speed limit changes, sharp turns, and lane changes are all things you need to handle with care.
- Your state of mind is crucial: Ultimately, this is always going to be the most critical aspect. Riders get themselves into trouble when they are too casual about gear and rider safety, or don’t take other mental elements seriously. Riding while tired or intoxicated is one of the most dangerous things you can do, and can compound your ability to take care of crucial safety checks while riding. Minding your and other motorists’ blind spots is already one of the leading causes of rider distress, and doing it in an altered mind state does not work out well.
There are a host of other factors that you will notice specific to your bike and local roads. The goal is to always build on your education and experience, while making sure your gear and bike are optimal for dealing with unexpected outcomes.
Ride Safely with Law Tigers
We want our riders to understand the dangers of motorcycle riding and respect the road. The good thing is Law Tigers has your back with rider education, safety tips and motorcycle accident representation if necessary. The hope is that if you follow these safety tips, you won’t need our legal services, and can just enjoy the motorcycle riding lifestyle stress-free.