As warm months ahead mean more motorcycles will be on the road, it’s important to brush up on some life-saving motorcycle safety tips. Whether you are a motorcyclist yourself or a car driver, it is smart to know how to keep yourself and other motorists safe and protected. Remember, motorcycle safety is a two-way street!
The freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle on an open road comes with a price. According to data obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists account for about 14% of all traffic fatalities – and motorcycles only make up 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) claims that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash compared to people in a car. Such statistics remind us of the importance of motorcycle safety.
A combination of continued motorcycle safety education, respect for traffic laws and basic common sense can help reduce the amount of fatalities involved in motorcycle accidents and keep all motorists safe. As both a motorcyclist or a car driver, it’s important to understand simple motorcycle safety tips to make sure your next joy ride is indeed a safe one.
To begin, let’s focus on safety tips for motorcyclists:
- Wear appropriate gear – Leather jacket, full pants, gloves and over-the-ankle boots are must-haves when it comes to riding. No matter your state’s stance on helmets – wear one! Riders without a helmet are 40% more likely to suffer from a fatal head injury in a crash compared to riders who wear a helmet. Use your head – always wear a helmet!
- Obey traffic laws – Just as it is important to follow the rules of the road as a car driver, it is even more important to do so while on two wheels. Obey speed limits and be aware of local traffic laws.
- Ride defensively – Unfortunately, many car drivers do not know how to safely share the road with motorcyclists. Be extra vigilant and keep an eye out for driver’s sudden lane shifts or cars pulling out without seeing you on your bike. It is crucial to keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles to avoid tailgating.
- Hone your skills – Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just got your license – take a motorcycle safety course in your area. Some motorcycle manufacturers even offer a credit towards bikes to riders who complete such courses.
- Be alert & sober – This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it is vitally important for motorcyclists to be extra alert and have quick reaction times. Alcohol consumption and drowsiness hinder your ability to safely maneuver any vehicle, especially a motorcycle.
How to safely share the road with motorcyclists:
- Check your mirrors & blind spots – Your mirrors state “objects in mirror may be closer than appears” for a reason. It can be difficult to judge how close a motorcycle really is to your vehicle due to their small size. Be sure to check your blind spots and mirrors multiple times before changing lanes or making a turn.
- Don’t tailgate – This general driving safety tip is especially true when following a motorcycle. Be aware that many motorcyclists decrease their speed by downshifting or easing off the throttle – not necessarily by applying their brakes (and therefore no brake lights appear).
- Stay in your lane – Never crowd into a lane with a bike. Be sure to give motorcyclists plenty of space, even when they favor one side of the lane. If you notice minor swerving, they are most likely trying to avoid potholes or other debris.
- Be mindful of motorcycles – Many drivers don’t even think of motorcycles because there are so few of them on the road compared to cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Try to anticipate motorcycle’s movements and practice safe driving while sharing the road with them.
Ross Insurance Agency, located in the Lancaster, PA region, is here for you and all of your insurance needs. Whether you drive a car or a motorcycle, we have affordable and reliable insurance coverage for you.
At Ross Insurance Agency, we are committed to getting our clients the best automobile insurance coverage at the best price. Since motorcycles are such specialized vehicles, they are best covered on their own motorcycle insurance policies. If you’ve ever questioned your current coverage or are shopping around for automobile or motorcycle insurance, be sure to complete our free Ross Review service to see if there are any gaps or overlaps. We encourage you to stay safe on the road and insure your vehicles. As always, be sure to contact us via our website or by phone at (717) 397-4729 with any questions or inquiries.