Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. Much like driving a car, though, it can be dangerous to ride a motorcycle if you don’t pay attention to safety skills.
Riding a motorcycle isn’t exactly like driving a car. It’s also not like riding a regular bicycle, either. While there is always the risk of injury when driving, the risk becomes more severe for motorcycle riders.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that motorcycle riders were 27 times more likely to die in a crash than those driving a traditional vehicle. That should open everyone’s eyes to the added importance of safe riding.
In Michigan, you don’t need to obtain a separate driver’s license to operate a motorcycle. However, you will need to obtain a CY motorcycle endorsement to ride legally on the road.
Beyond simply obtaining the required paperwork, there are plenty of safety tips all motorcycle riders should pay attention to so they stay safe on the road.
Ride the Correct Motorcycle
Just like cars, there are a lot of different types of motorcycles. Selecting the right bike for you will go a long way in keeping you safe on the road.
In addition to choosing a slick bike that looks good and rides nice, there are other factors to take into consideration. You should take into account not just the power of the bike but its weight, too.
The ratio of the bike’s weight to power will determine how fast it will go. But, it’ll also determine your braking distances, your acceleration, and your turning radius.
All motorcycles are not the same. So, make sure you are familiar with how the bike operates before hitting the road.
When you ride a motorcycle, you should always wear a helmet. You should even consider wearing a helmet that has a full-face mask as well.
A helmet will protect your head in case you hit a crash and hit your head. On motorcycles, crashes can occur much more easily than in a car. If you hit a pothole, an oil slick, or an uneven patch of road, it could send you flying off your bike.
A full-face helmet will also protect you in case something flies off the road and hits you in the face. Just like a windshield protects you in a car, a face mask will protect you on a motorcycle. Even a small pebble can cause a major injury if it hits you while you’re riding.
Protective gear doesn’t stop at a helmet, though. You need a good set of boots. Proper footwear should cover all of your ankles.
You should also wear long pants, gloves and even a jacket with protection — no matter what the weather is.
You can purchase vented helmets and cooler gear in the summer months when temperatures rise. This will keep you cool and protected at the same time.
Be Careful of the Weather
Poor weather makes for challenging driving conditions no matter what type of vehicle you’re in. But, it’s especially challenging — and dangerous — to ride a motorcycle in inclement weather.
Before you go out riding, check the weather forecast to see what’s coming. If there’s a chance for rain or snow, make sure you have the right protective gear on, and proceed with caution.
If heavy rains, snow, and icy conditions are in the forecast, maybe keep the bike in the garage for a better day. One slip caused by a compromised road or poor vision can end in catastrophe.
Never Dry Impaired
It probably goes without saying, but never, ever drive if you’re not sober. This obviously applies no matter whether you’re driving a car, truck, or motorcycle. It’s worth repeating, though: Always ride sober.
In addition, make sure you are well-rested and ready to go, especially for long trips. Riding a motorcycle takes a lot of focus, and it can be mentally and physically draining.
You need to remain focused the entire time. If you feel yourself getting tired, take a break. Make sure to stop and stretch. Eat some food to refuel, and drink some water to hydrate.
If you find that it would be too hard to make it to your destination, take a rest before hitting the road again.
Be on the Defensive
Remember that when you’re riding a motorcycle, it will be harder for other drivers to see you. It’s common for drivers who are involved in accidents with motorcyclists to say they never even say the bike.
Bike riders can find themselves in other driver’s blind spots often — and seemingly out of nowhere. That’s why it’s so vital that you ride defensively.
Always keep your eyes on the road and on other drivers. Assume that no one else on the road sees you, and act accordingly while you ride.
Use all your proper signals, keep your distance from other drivers, and always be prepared for the unexpected.
It’s not that you need to be afraid while riding a bike. It’s just that you need to be prepared.
Protect Yourself and Your Bike with Signature Insurance
Riding a motorcycle should be an enjoyable experience. It should be something you do for fun in a safe manner.
If you follow all the rules of the road and the safety tips above, you’ll put yourself in the best position to have a fun ride.
When you’re on the road, it’s also important that you and your bike are protected by the best possible insurance policy. At Signature Insurance, we have years of experience protecting motorcyclists in Michigan.
We are dedicated to not just providing the best motorcycle policies around, but to giving our customers the service they need. Call us today for a free quote and to find out more about how we can work for you.