Roads and highways are dangerous places. Every year, over 37,000 people in the US die in road crashes. That’s an average of just over 100 fatalities each day. Being on a motorcycle in that environment only increases the risk of injury or death even if you are wearing your helmet. This means that motorcyclists need to take certain precautions to protect themselves when they are out on the road.
According to TXdot, the following tips will help motorcyclists take the necessary steps to ensure their own safety:
- Wear a helmet and other protective gear – According to Texas law, passengers over the age of 21 are not required to wear a helmet, but all the data suggests that helmets add a helpful layer of protection between riders and the road. There are also safety jackets, pants, gloves, and boots available that can provide additional protection.
- Turn on your headlights and ride defensively – Any motorcyclists will tell you that the best way to ride is with the mentality that you are essentially invisible. Making sure that your headlights are on, utilizing your horn to make other drivers aware of your presence, and using extreme caution are all keys to a safe ride.
- Avoid the center of the lane where debris and oil build up – Roads are much more heavily utilized by cars. As a result, you will notice that the center of the lane is where debris and fluids build up. If you are on a motorcycle, find that left or right side groove that the cars have left behind and ride right there.
- Ride at a safe speed – Speeding only increases the risk of damage or death when you’re on a motorcycle (or even a car). Observing the speed limits allows you to have more reaction time during your ride and will also help you avoid those pesky tickets.
- Never ride if you’ve been drinking – Drinking and driving is not only dangerous, but it is illegal. If you are foolish enough to drink and drive, jail is a lucky outcome. Alcohol impairs your judgement, slows your reaction time, impairs your vision, reduces your ability to focus and concentrate, etc. This all combines to make for a dangerous and possibly deadly situation. If you’ve had too much to drink, hand over the keys and stay off your bike.
If you plan to take to the roads on a motorcycle, be safe and make sure that your insurance is up to date. Remember, you can never be too concerned about your safety and the safety of your passengers. Motorcycles can be a lot of fun, but they require a lot of precaution.