Those who love the open road don't have to be sold on the appeal of motorcycles -- the freedom, the exhilaration, and the lifestyle are just part of the draw. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reminds us of a harsh reality: motorcycle riders are as many as 30 times more likely to perish in a vehicle crash than those riding in a car. These motorcycle safety considerations were among the top tips highlighted by Consumer Reports for new riders:
1. Buy a motorcycle that's a fit. Make sure the bike you select is a good fit for your size and experience level. As for ideal cycle height, your feet should rest flat on the ground with controls and handlebars easily within reach. Remember that if a bike feels too heavy for you, then it likely is. Go for a smaller engine to start; you can always upgrade later when you're more experienced. If it has anti-lock brakes, even better.
2. Educate yourself. Taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course is one of the best things new riders can do. You'll learn the basics plus evasive emergency measures. Taking and passing the safety course can also bring benefits in certain states; the ability to skip portions of the licensure test, insurance discounts and even credit toward a new cycle are just some of the possibilities.
3. Wear the right gear. Helmets should be a given for all motorcycle riders, as should gear and clothing that protect from the elements and hazards of motorcycle riding. A leather or reinforced jacket, full pants, over-ankle footwear, eye protection and gloves should be worn, even in warmer months.
4. Don't speed. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that about half of all motorcycle fatalities involve a rider who was speeding.
5. Never drink and ride. The IIHS also reports that alcohol is a factor in around 40% of fatalities. Never ride your cycle after drinking.
6. Be defensive. Today's auto drivers are less attentive than ever, so be sure and keep an eye out for the texters, cell phone talkers and those who pull out from side streets without seeing you. Keep a safe following distance on the road to be able to react to sudden stops or road hazards. Slow down for debris and potholes, and be ready to react defensively at a moment's notice.
7. Avoid bad weather. Severe or slippery road conditions are a major hazard cyclists face. Rain reduces visibility as well as tire grip. The road is most dangerous right after rain begins, as it combines with oily residue. New riders should avoid cycling in wet or windy weather. Despite the risks, many cyclists ride without incident for a lifetime. The key to staying safe is minimizing risk and always being prepared. If you find yourself in difficult conditions, ease up on the throttle; brake and steer gently to stay in control. Be smart, ride safe, and enjoy years of cycling enjoyment.
Make sure you retain a Philadelphia motorcycle accident attorney if you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash so you can get the maximum possible compensation.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a low 29% contingency fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
The Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102