6 Safety Tips for Ambitious Motorcycle Drivers

Retro motorcycle standing in the desert at sunset

Driving a motorcycle is extremely exciting, thrilling, and adventurous for those who are avid riders. If you’re thinking of investing in your first motorcycle, or you’re adding a new bike to your collection, there are a few safety tips you’ll want to remember as an ambitious motorcycle driver anytime you head out onto the road. The better prepared you are with safety gear and road safety tips, the less likely you’ll be to encounter a preventable accident or collision.

1. Gear Up Properly

Wearing proper gear anytime you’re driving a motorcycle is crucial, regardless of where you plan to go. The average garbage truck weighs approximately 64,000 pounds, according to Reference.com. Being involved in any type of collision with another vehicle, regardless of the speed of your accident, can result in serious or life-threatening injuries. In some cases, motorcycle collisions can lead to death without proper gear. You’ll want to gear up with a DOT-approved helmet in addition to proper protective clothing, such as reinforced jackets, boots, and motorcycle gloves.

2. Use Visibility Accessories and Lights

Anytime you’re operating a motorcycle, be sure to do so while wearing reflective gear and accessories, especially when you’re driving at night. Use proper lighting and ensure all lights and electrical systems on your motorcycle are working before heading out on an extended trip or on the open road. Always stay in proper positions when switching lanes and use legal turn signals and signs to ensure other drivers are aware of your intent.

3. Avoid Distractions

When driving a motorcycle, you’ll need to remain extremely vigilant of your surroundings, regardless of the time of day you’re driving. Approximately 66% of drivers in the United States said they would make phone calls while driving in a parking lot, according to the National Safety Council. Avoid using your smartphone, texting, or becoming distracted when you’re riding a bike, even if you’re doing so in a relatively calm parking lot.

4. Ensure Proper Maintenance of Your Motorcycle

In Kentucky, it’s reported that there are currently more than 100,000 motorcycles registered in the state, according to the Kentucky State Policy. Properly maintaining your motorcycle is essential to prevent potential breakdowns and preventable incidents while driving on the road with others. Regularly inspecting fluid levels, brakes, tires, lights, and gears can prevent unnecessary wear and tear or larger issues from spiraling out of control. You can also take your motorcycle to a local mechanic’s shop every six months to a year for routine oil changes and fluid inspections, depending on how often you drive your bike.

5. Use Proper Signals

Learning basic signaling anytime you’re operating a motorcycle is vital, especially when driving among other drivers who may be in traditional vehicles. Knowing basic turn signals and hand signals can help communicate your intention anytime you’re making a turn, switching lanes, or pulling over. Using proper hand signals informs surrounding drivers of where you’re planning to go, so they can also prepare themselves.

6. Always Drive Defensively

One of the biggest lessons you learn when you’re first learning how to drive is that you should drive as defensively as possible when you’re on the road. Driving defensively on a motorcycle is even more important due to the exposure you will have once you’re on your bike. Anticipating potential hazards and keeping your distance from other drivers can significantly reduce your risk of an accident or collision.

Learning basic safety tips for ambitious motorcycle drivers is essential anytime you’re planning on investing in a bike, racing competitively, or even taking a ride recreationally. Protect your bike and your life!

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