Looking for some go-to safety tips for riding your motorcycle for the first time? In this article, we explain some of the most important ones…
Riding a motorcycle is certainly a fun and exciting way to get around. That said, it’s also a rather dangerous activity, putting yourself at a much higher risk of injury than many other vehicles. This is why taking your health and safety seriously when doing so is paramount.
If you weren’t doing everything possible to reduce the risk of an injury whilst riding, any motorbike injury claim you make may not be valid. If you become injured from this, you may not get any compensation to help you walk away from the accident with all the right care you need to recover.
In order to limit the risk of this, and to make sure your body and mind is kept safe, this article is your first step. Keep reading to discover eight vital safety tips when riding your motorcycle…
1. Wear a Helmet
We’ll start by stating some of the most obvious tips, as you may be surprised to discover that helmet use is not always prioritised. In fact, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) found that, “although helmet use has increased by 12.5% since 2002, use has decreased 8.6% since 2018. Latest estimates show that helmet use has decreased from 69% in 2020 to 64.9% in 2021.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets can reduce the risk of death by 37% and the risk of head injury by 69%, saving 1,859 lives in 2016 alone. The stats speak for themselves.
Be sure to source a helmet from a respectable provider to ensure it’s as effective as possible.
2. Wear Other Safety Gear
Although a helmet is perhaps the most important safety tool of them all, there are various other items of clothing to consider if you’re a regular motorcycle user. We’ve all heard the horror stories of people being thrown from their motorcycles only to have their skin grazed clean off.
Because of this, hardwearing, thick clothing that can prevent this is advised. Some ideas include:
- Leather jacket
- Leather gloves
- Reinforced layers on the elbows and knees
- Motor suits
- Over-the-ankle boots
- Eye and face protection
Comfort and fit should also be considered, as you want to ensure your clothing doesn’t slip, or doesn’t need adjusting throughout the ride. If not, this could become a major distraction whilst on the road.
3. Wear Warm Waterproof Clothing
Even in warm temperatures, being exposed to high-velocity winds whilst riding your motorcycle can cause an abnormally low body temperature and even hypothermia. This can cause a loss of reflexes, which can be detrimental to anyone out on the road.
This is why wearing thick clothes that cover all the limbs is really important. Even in hot weather, where the sun is beating down, you’d be surprised how 50 mph winds can affect the body. Don’t take the ambient temperature when stationery as gospel and be sure to wrap up.
4. Weather Watch
Speaking of weather, it’s really important that you take to the roads in sensible conditions. Riding in the rain, for example, can be incredibly dangerous, obstructing your visibility, the visibility of those around you, and making the roads slippery. Keep this in mind and check your weather apps before heading out.
5. Consider Visibility
Although it might seem incredibly cool to wear all black leather whilst riding your motorcycle, you should also consider how visible you’ll be to other drivers on the road. Being just a small vehicle, motorcycles may not be immediately visible, so wearing bright colours or having high-vis lighting on your bike is sure to help.
According to a study, just two out of 900 accident case studies of motorcyclists were wearing bright coloured clothing. So, it’s worth sacrificing style for safety.
6. Ride Within Your Skills
If this is your first motorbike, you won’t have all the skills yet to ride like the professionals. Doing so is a life skill, so be sure to treat it as such and ride within your current skillset.
Of course, practice makes perfect, but you can do this practice during safety courses and on quiet private roads. When you’re riding somewhere on busy streets, it’s best to get from A to B without attempting any crazy stunts.
7. Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
It’s best if you hear all this from the professionals, so we’d advise you to find a motorcycle safety course near you so you’re properly clued up. This way, you can hear the best practice for riding, and any extra safety tips you need to remember before you get on the road.
8. Educate Any Passengers
It might seem all fun and games to bring a passenger along for the ride, but if they don’t follow the same rules as you, you could be in trouble. For starters, if they don’t also wear all the gear, they’re at risk of injury. What’s more, if they act as a distraction whilst you’re riding, you may find that you both end up becoming injured, or worse.
Because of this, it’s really important that you explain these safety tips to any riders before taking them along with you.
Ready to Safely Ride Your Motorcycle?
We don’t want to ruin your fun, as we’re sure you didn’t expect so many rules when purchasing your motorbike. That said, looking cool is just one part of the package; staying safe is part of the deal too.
In this article, we’ve listed some of the most important ways you can keep yourself, and any passengers, safe whilst riding. Be sure to keep these in mind when you hit the road, and don’t try and sacrifice safety for style.
Do you have any more tips to add? Be sure to leave them in the comments below.