It’s hard to beat the exhilarating feeling of riding a motorcycle on the open road. But motorcycles can be dangerous. In order to stay safe, motorcyclists must be cautious and use solid judgment when riding.
The facts tell the story:
4,300 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2013.
Motorcycles are less stable than cars and much less visible to other traffic. In addition, motorcycles have no protection like enclosed vehicles. With high performance capabilities and no protection, motorcyclists involved in crashes have a greater risk of serious injury or death.
Optimal protection and good defensive driving must go hand-in-hand with that sense of freedom to make motorcycle riding an enjoyable and safe activity.
Follow these tips to enjoy an exhilarating but safe motorcycle ride:
Protect Your Head and Eyes. Helmets are the #1 safety equipment to protect motorcycle riders. According to US Department of Transportation studies, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 37 percent. Studies show that motorcycle riders without helmets are 3 times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries in a crash than those wearing helmets. Wear a helmet that meets all U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements along with proper eye protection.
Learn first. Riding a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car. Read the owner’s manual. Attend a training class and obtain a motorcycle license. Then Practice so that you are comfortable with the maneuvers before riding with traffic.
Check it out. Before each ride, check tread depth, brakes, tire pressure, fluid levels, lights and signal indicators. If you plan to take a passenger or to pack a few items, check that you are within weight limit requirements. Adjust tire pressure as needed. Make sure your motorcycle is safe before you leave home.
Get Protected. Wear the right shoes, gloves, and clothing. Thick clothing can protect you in a crash. Brightly colored or fluorescent clothing with reflective materials can help you be easily seen, especially at night.
Use a bike with ABS. Antilock braking systems (ABS) reduce the risk of a crash by preventing the wheels from locking up. ABS is critical for motorcycles in order to avoid skidding and potential falls. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that motorcycles with ABS have a 30% lower rate of fatal crashes.
Never drink and ride. Don’t risk your life and the lives of others by drinking and driving.
Ride safely and courteously.
To learn more about motorcycle riding safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles.
Do you have questions about motorcycle safety? Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help. Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com.
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