Warm weather and road trips often go hand-in-hand, and spring and summer are prime seasons for motorcycle riders to get out on the highway.
Motorcycle riders are at an extreme disadvantage when sharing the road with cars and trucks. In the event of a collision, motorcycle riders can be seriously injured and are far less protected than those in a car or truck. The latest data indicates motorcyclists are about 28 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash, states the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Motorcycle riders face greater hazards from debris on the road or other road conditions. Despite all this, the NHTSA says the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes dropped to 4,985 in 2018, marking an almost 5 percent decrease from their most recent study on motorcycling fatalities. Continuing to be safe, and educating oneself about motorcycle safety – whether you are a rider or someone sharing the road – can continue to keep injuries and accidents low.
Wear protective gear. The NHTSA says the right helmet can mean the difference between life and death. From shape to style to fit, riders can work with helmet companies and outfitters to find the right helmet for them. Long pants, eye protection, riding gloves, and a waterproof jacket also make for effective and protective gear.
Take a class. Novices would be wise to enroll in classes to go over motorcycling basics and safety guidelines that can keep them alive and well on the road. Check with your local motor vehicle commission or driving schools about classes that may be available.
Avoid blind spots. Motorcycles are difficult to see on the road. Try to stay out of vehicles’ blind spots as much as possible and maintain safe distances between your bike and others on the road.
Make yourself visible. Wear something bright or use reflective or nylon tape and mesh to make yourself more visible to fellow motorists.
Never ride tired or intoxicated. Fatigue and/or alcohol reduces reaction time and could find you making costly mistakes that put your life in danger.
Share the road responsibly. Drivers of cars and trucks need to be diligent in keeping their eyes and ears open for motorcycle riders, allowing them a wide berth.
Motorcyclists will be taking to the roads in increasing numbers, and safety should be their top priority.