Before starting with my post let me tell you how I see things…
For me, there are two kinds of motorcycle riders: the ones that have had (or will have an accident) and the ones that don’t ride. It’s like bicycling or skiing, one time or another you will go down. Sad but true…
Now, not every motorcycle accident should have serious consequences and it is my intent with this post to provide some guidance to minimize the risks and, with some luck, to help you become one of the very few motorcyclists that actually ride and don’t have accidents.
Back to my post…
A few tips to prevent motorcycle accidents
First, here are some basic things you can do to prevent motorcycle accidents and increase your safety level.
- Be responsible not only for yourself, but also for all the other motorists and drivers out there as well. Respect and follow the rules of the road.
- Make sure your motorcycle is in good working conditions
- Never forget to wear proper attire. Bare minimum: helmet, eyewear, gloves, and riding jacket.
- Never ride past the speed limit and avoid riding in adverse weather.
- Make sure that all your safety and signalization controls are within easy reach and operable in both day and night.
- Don’t drink and ride. Although drinking and driving warnings are heavily promoted to car drivers, it’s no less important to motorcycle riders. Each year, the number of motorcycle accidents gives us a new statistic to evaluate, and it almost always includes accidents that involve alcohol consumption.
- Look out for bad drivers. Car drivers aren’t always as observant on the road as they should be and as a result, their careless driving skills contribute to the current quality (and quantity) of motorcycle accident statistics that we already have. That’s why it’s so important, as a motorcycle rider, that you not only ride on the offensive, but on the defensive as well.
- Stay alert. Beware of road hazards and traffic jams.
Motorcycle accidents and your skill level
The more experienced you are at motorcycle riding, the less likely it is that you’ll have an accident. Experience really is the best teacher and from this experience, you’ll understand why complying with the rules of the road is so crucial to safety. But that doesn’t mean experienced drivers are off the hook. Even the most experienced motorcycle rider can have an accident and it doesn’t seem to matter how many riding years are behind him.
New motorcycle riders who aren’t too confident in their skills should stick to paths that aren’t heavily used by major traffic. That includes busy streets and highways - two sources of heavy and dangerous traffic to the motorcycling “newbie.”
Preventing motorcycle accidents by making good choices
The only things that seem to really protect riders are things like good equipment and good choices.
For example, a good choice would be to use signal lights as a way to communicate with others on the road and indicate that you’re trying to get around them or that you’re within a close proximity. In this situation, another good choice would be to ensure these signal lights are in tip-top condition as well. Signal lights aren’t available on older bikes so riders of older models should use hand signals to communicate with other travelers.
Other good choices involve making the decision to correctly assess distances between you and other drivers — especially at night. It’s reasonable to expect that two visible headlights belong to a car, van, or truck, but what if there’s only one light visible? A single, shining headlight could belong to another motorcycle, but it could also belong to a bigger vehicle with only one working light! Maintaining a good distance between you and any vehicle regardless of what kind it is or how many working lights it has will help prevent what could be a tragic event.
It’s not that all accidents are avoidable, but then again, a good majority of them can be prevented just by following the advice herein, obeying laws, and use good ol’ common sense. By doing your part as a responsible motorcycle rider, you’ll increase your chances of keeping the roads safe for everyone and enjoy motorcycle riding for many years.
Do you have other tips or comments that can help our readers to prevent motorcycle accidents? Share them in this post.
Have a good and safe ride!