With weather warming up in the Northeast there will be an increase in the number of motorcycles on the road. Motorcycle drivers, and all drivers, should follow every safety precaution in light of this.
Follow these safety tips to ensure your own safety as a motorcyclist and the safety of everyone on the road:
- Head injuries account for the largest number of motorcycle accident fatalities. Wear a helmet even if your state laws do not require one. New York and New Jersey motorcyclist are required to wear helmets.
- Obtain proper training before applying for your license and take refresher courses as needed.
- Take your motorcycle in for regular tune-ups and check-ups so that any malfunctioning parts can be fixed or replaced.
- Never add more passengers than allowed for your particular model of motorcycle.
- If your current motorcycle doesn’t have anti-lock brakes, either have them installed or purchase another bike that has them. Motorcycles with anti-lock brakes are 37% less likely to be involved in fatal collisions than those without.
- Wear the best protective gear you can afford, since motorcyclists need all the protection they can get when either directly hit by another vehicle or thrown a great distance from the accident site.
- Never ride your motorcycle if you’ve been drinking or using any type of drug that might impair your coordination or reaction times.
- Don’t ride beyond your own skill levels.
- Familiarize yourself with the safety guidelines for motorcyclists issued by your state or any other state you plan to visit.
- Slow down during bad weather and consider postponing any motorcycle trips until the weather improves. Hydroplaning is especially dangerous for motorcyclists, since they have less traction than larger vehicles.
- Never try to customize your motorcycle in any manner that might compromise your safety or violate any laws.
By following these suggestions you can greatly increase your safety while riding your motorcycle not only during the spring and summer months, but throughout the year.
Source: “Increasing the Safety of Your Motorcycle Riding Experience.” The Safety Report Summer 2010: 11