People who ride motorcycles often talk about the sense of freedom they feel. The exposure to the fresh air and the open road is exhilarating, whether the rider is using a motorbike for basic transport or leisure. They know that there are risks involved, but they trust themselves and their abilities.
If you enjoy driving a motorcycle, you know all too well that you face an increased risk of injury in an accident. What you may not know is just how significant that risk is. Though fatal motorcycle accidents fell by 3% in 2017, experts say that too many traffic fatalities overall involve a motorcyclist. However, you can take certain actions to help protect yourself.
While any motorist benefits from raised awareness while driving, motorcyclists need to be especially careful. Anyone on the road needs to realize that a motorcycle doesn't have the same advantages as a regular passenger vehicle. Motorcycles can be more difficult to see due to their size, meaning some car drivers will not give them the proper distance on the road. Motorcycles also have increased driving capabilities that other people driving passenger vehicles do not know about, which can inhibit proper driving responses.
Though it may seem obvious, if you ride a motorcycle, ensure that you have the proper training. Operating a motorcycle takes different skills than driving a car. You need to have the right licensing and testing to drive a motorbike. Here in South Carolina, if you have a regular driver's license, you need to take a motorcycle road test in order to get your permit. For those who don't have a regular driver's license, you must obtain a motorcycle beginner's permit.
Even if you're an experienced rider, every motorcycle handles a bit differently, the same way that different cars do. Any time you get on a motorbike for the first time, you should be careful while operating it. Also, be sure to conduct a thorough safety check every time you ride. This includes checking tire pressure, headlights and fluid levels. If you have a passenger with you, be sure he or she follows proper motorcycle riding safety precautions, such as sitting right behind you and following any direction you give.
Riding a motorcycle requires proper gear. Be sure that you always wear a helmet, as it is your best chance of protecting your brain in an accident. Also, wear thick clothing that covers your extremities to further protect yourself. In addition to safety gear, be sure that you follow all rules of the road and any local laws. You can help other drivers see you by running your headlights and wearing bright clothing or having reflectors on your motorcycle. Also, avoid using alcohol or drugs before riding your motorcycle.
Even with all of these safety precautions, you can't guarantee that everyone else you encounter on the road will follow suit. A motorcycle accident can devastate a family and leave people with more questions than answers. Know that if you or a loved one is ever in this kind of crash, you have the right to hold responsible parties accountable.