For motorcycle riders, there are few better things than being out on the open road. You feel a sense of freedom as your bike speeds down the highway and the wind rushes by you. You likely also experience a rush of adrenaline because part of the thrill of riding a motorcycle lies in the inherent danger.
Riding a motorcycle is simply more dangerous than riding in other types of vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorcycle accident is 28 times more likely to end in death than accidents in other vehicles.
However, the danger is not going to stop you from riding your motorcycle, but there are certain things you can do to help prevent accidents.
Make yourself more visible
You may have heard the suggestion to wear bright colors while you are on a motorcycle. You do not have wear head-to-toe neon, but a brightly colored jacket or helmet makes you more visible to drivers. Using your high beams during the day will also make you more noticeable to traffic.
Avoid busy surface streets
Avoid high traffic areas like shopping malls. Half of accidents happen at intersections. Staying on freeways will allow you to avoid intersections where a driver will be turning left in front of you.
Wear the right helmet
Helmets that meet the Department of Transportation's (DOT) standards for safety will have DOT symbol on the back of the helmet. Helmets without this certification are usually lighter weight because the helmets are missing some of the protection that is so crucial for potential impact.
Keep your eyes on your surroundings
Distracted driving has become a serious problem. If you observe a driver with his or her head down, give the car a wide berth. They are clearly distracted by something and are more likely to miss a motorcyclist. Also keep your eyes open to potentially dangerous road conditions like loose gravel, sand or potholes.
Just as drivers are told to drive defensively, you should ride your bike defensively. Move cautiously through intersections, and let pedestrians and drivers go ahead of you when you can.
Alcohol plays a large role in motorcycle accidents. Avoid drinking before you get on your motorcycle because it will slow your reactions. If you have consumed any alcohol, obey the speed limit, so you have more time to react in case you encounter a dangerous situation.
Preventing a motorcycle accident is still the best way to avoid injury. Following these precautions may help you avoid an accident and stay safer while enjoying your motorcycle.