If you are a rider, protecting yourself against motorcycle crashes should be your priority. Most reported motorcycle accidents result in severe injuries or in worse cases, death. If you include even the unreported cases since they are there, the occurrence of these accidents should make you more concerned whenever you are operating a motorcycle.
Even when it isn’t your fault as the motorcyclist, there are ways you can still prevent an accident. Therefore if you are a rider or aspiring to become one, here are tips that can assist you to avoid life-threatening injuries or loss of life when out on the road.
Wear appropriate gear
Some riders assume that a helmet is the only required gear when riding a motorbike but the truth is, a helmet is just one of them. For maximum safety, you will need a leather jacket, durable boots that cover your ankles, goggles, long pants and thick riding gloves. You’ll also need rain gear if it’s raining or you are going to be out for long and you are not sure about the weather changes. If you are going to ride during a colder season, don’t forget to layer up. You can as well invest in heavier gear specially designed for the cold weather. These are the appropriate gear for motorcyclists, never hit the road without them.
Wear a full-head helmet
Not every helmet that can protect you from a crush. That’s why experts recommend you wear a helmet that properly covers your head. The helmet should also be bright-coloured for maximum visibility. It is also important to replace your helmet at least after every five years or after a crash. Without doing this, you are putting yourself twice at risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury in case of a crush.
Another thing that can protect you from an accident is wearing bright coloured outfits and reflective elements on your bike. Moreover, use your headlight whether you are riding at night or during the day. When riding, choose a section of the lane that makes you more visible to motorists. Don’t hesitate to honk if you suspect a motorist isn’t seeing you.
Did you know the faster you are riding the less time you have to react to oncoming vehicles and other happenings on the road? You may also fail to notice a blind spot or an upcoming turn which can all lead to you applying emergency brakes. This is a scenario that can see you slide underneath your bike and hit an upcoming car or even a pedestrian. However, if you avoid over speeding and stick to the recommended speed limit, you’ll have a golden opportunity to spot potential road hazards. Interestingly, a second or two could be all that you needed to avoid a fatal accident.
Give way to vehicles
Always make sure you give plenty of space to vehicles even when you know you are riding in the right lane. If a vehicle traveling toward you fails to see you and turns into your path, this can easily result in an accident. Remember in most cases, drivers typically look out for other vehicles and not motorcycles. Plus, when you collide with a car, you are likely to experience more injuries than the people inside a car; making you, the rider, more vulnerable. Therefore, to avoid such unpleasant moments, leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. This way, you will have enough time to decide if you notice a vehicle turning without a warning. Another thing you should keep a keen eye on is vehicles trying to come in the gap between you and the car in front of you. If you have space behind you, just slow down and give way. In fact, whenever you can, give way and protect yourself from getting hit. You are not in any competition whatsoever.
You need to be fully aware of your surroundings always. Watch out for road hazards such as potholes, sand and railroad tracks. Be ready for sudden swerves, lane changes and movement of fellow motorcyclists. For you to be on top of all these things, then you must be very alert. Forget about reading a text on your phone no matter how urgent you think it is. Otherwise, it could be the last thing you do on this planet. It is that serious.
Avoid bad weather
Mother Nature can be very challenging at times. Whenever possible, don’t compete with it. If you can afford to postpone your trip during harsh weather conditions, then please do. However, if you have to ride in the rain, then equip yourself with the appropriate rain gear to stay dry and comfortable. If there is fog, put the lights on and slow your speed.
Don’t ride while drunk
Don’t use your motorcycle to go out for a few drinks with your friends. Riding under alcohol influence can easily lead to an accident. That’s because when you are alcohol-impaired, it’s difficult to observe the speed limit or see an incoming vehicle among other road hazards. You need to be sober while on the road if you are going to arrive safely at your destination. If you must drink, then forego your riding trip to another day when you’ll be sober.
If you love yourself, please don’t start riding your bike without proper professional training. More so, even though it is not a requirement in most countries, you should consider taking a motorcycle safety course for your own good. Don’t just hit the road because you think it is cool. You may have seen other riders having fun but please also note that motorcycle accidents are real.
But wait a minute, what if an accident occurs anyway?
Of course, nobody wants to experience or encounter a motorcycle accident all their lives. However, they still happen at some point and when they do, little knowledge can actually save a life. That is why it’s important to learn a few things you can do to save yourself or a fellow rider.
If you are the one involved in an accident, don’t panic. Be calm and avoid doing anything that can make things worse than they already are. If you can, use a bright coloured piece of clothing to wave for help. You can also use your phone to seek help.
If it is a fellow rider, before you do anything, make sure you are safe. By all means, don’t create a situation whereby you’ll also be a victim. You have to be safe if you are going to be of any help to that rider involved in an accident. Then walk to the victim and try to protect the victim from further injuries by controlling traffic. If you are going to leave the victim and look for help, when you get it, kindly let the victim know that help is on the way.