Along with the enjoyment that comes with riding a motorcycle are the dangers of accidents and injury. By just following a few simple rules every time you hit the road, you can drastically reduce your chances of being hurt while riding.
- Wear a helmet: In Texas, helmets are required only for riders who are 20 or younger, but it doesn’t mean you’re too old for a helmet. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that in 2009 alone, helmets saved almost 1,500 lives and could have saved over another 700 had a helmet been worn by the rider.
- Eye protection: With no windshield in front of you, there’s nothing stopping a bug or grain of sand from getting in your eye
- Hearing protection: Stops noise from damaging your hearing while allowing you to hear traffic around you
- High-visibility or reflective clothing: Lets others around you know you’re there, especially at night. One of the most common excuses for accidents involving a motorcyclist injury is “I didn’t see them”
Your bike has a regular service schedule in the owner’s manual. Follow it and have the services done at an authorized dealer. Not only will this keep your bike in top shape for riding, but scheduled maintenance prevents possibility of negligence on your part.
- Maintain known hand signals to effectively communicate with those you’re riding with
- Ride a minimum of two seconds apart, in a staggered formation (first rider in the left lane, second in the right lane, etc)
- Extra weight will change the motorcycle’s handling and suspension. Your tire pressure may need adjustment depending on your company
- Make sure the passenger has the same protection you do
- Have them hold you at your waist or hips or the bike’s hand-holds if available
- Be sure to show them where the hot parts on the bike are
- Advise your passenger to lean only when you do