Four Ways To Keep You From Being A Statistic On Your Motorcycle

Anytime you get on your bike to take a ride, your safety should be your paramount concern. You always want to return home in the same shape you left in. Unfortunately, for 4,381 motorcyclists in 2013, this was not the case. They died in motorcycle-related crashes. While you cannot control the actions of others when you go out for a ride, there are some things you can do to help to ensure you will remain safe.

Always Wear Proper Gear

If you go down, the clothes you have on are all that stand between you and the ground. Even if the lack of proper gear does not lead to your death, it can lead to you being seriously injured in an accident. Many times these are accidents that you may have been able to walk away from if you were clothed in proper gear. Proper gear should include:

  • High quality jacket
  • Long pants (preferably denim or a similar thick material)
  • Riding boots
  • Gloves
  • A good helmet

Although only 19 states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws, 28 other states have laws in place that require helmets on some riders. Only Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire do not have any type of helmet law in place.

For example, in Texas, helmets are required for all riders 20 years old or younger, while in Ohio they are required for those 17 years old and younger. 

While you may feel that you look better riding without a helmet, statistics have shown that helmets are approximately 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities, and they are approximately 67 percent effective in preventing brain injury. Would you rather look good or come out of an accident alive?

Make Sure You Keep Your Bike Serviced And In Good Working Order

Prior to going out on your bike, always walk around and inspect it. Look to ensure your tires are properly inflated, you have appropriate tread, and that you have no leaks. Always keep your bike properly serviced and maintained.

Check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at least annually to ensure there have been no recalls on your motorcycle. You should also check for motorcycle consumer product recalls to make sure there have been no recalls on your helmet or other types of riding gear. 

The last thing you want is to be going down the road at 55 mph when your engine or wheels lock up. If this happens and you are driving a car, you may be able to drift to the shoulder, but on your bike you are probably going down.

Drinking And Driving Do Not Mix - Especially On A Motorcycle

It is never a good idea to operate a motor vehicle when you have been drinking, but it is even a worse idea to drink and ride your bike. In 2013, 28 percent of fatalities occurred to motorcycle drivers which had a blood alcohol concentration over .08 percent. If you look at those who died in single vehicle crashes, the percentage increased to 40 percent.

Alcohol slows your reaction time, and it causes you to not be able to think clearly. The best thing to do if you have been drinking is to not drive. This includes your car, motorcycle, or anything else with an engine.

Control Your Speed

There is an old saying that speed kills. This is especially true when you are on a motorcycle. Remember, unlike a car, you only have two wheels on which to balance, turn and stop. Always remember to ride at a speed at which you have full control of your bike.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident which may be the fault of someone else, always seek the services of a motorcycle injury lawyer. They will be able to review your case and help you receive any available compensation.