Motorcycles are enjoyable, and over 8 million Americans yearly register bikes which they ride for pleasure, to save gas, and to tour the country with their friends. However, motorcycle accidents are all too common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,502 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2010, and 90,000 were injured. Fatalities increased most in riders over the age of 50.
This does not mean that motorcycle drivers are not careful. In fact, over 6 million motorcyclists have taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, or MSF, training course to become better and safer motorcycle riders. Taking this course is one way for you to keep yourself from being involved in a fatal motorcycle accident, and should be encouraged for all motorcyclists.
There are several ways to be safe on a motorcycle, and most of them involve common sense. Here are some ways you can protect yourself when you are riding:
1) Purchase a motorcycle with anti-lock brakes. ABS is a standard feature on many cars, but motorcycle manufacturers have been slower to install this life-saving device. Motorcycle braking does not work in the same way as car braking, and many accidents are precipitated by a rider attempting to brake too fast and instead locking the wheels, resulting in a skid. ABS allows a rider to stop quickly and safely, and can prevent many accidents.
2) Wear a helmet. The arguments for and against mandatory helmet laws have raged for some time. 20 states currently require helmet use, and 27 states have some form of helmet laws for younger riders. Whether your state requires you to wear a helmet or not, however, wearing one can mean the difference between life and death. Choose a good model which will offer you superior protection; most fatal motorcycle accidents involve head injuries, so it is a good idea to have the best protection you can buy in this regard.
3) Take a course. The Hurt Study found that 92 percent of all motorcyclists involved in accidents were self-taught or were taught to ride by friends. This should be enough encouragement to show that taking a training course can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in a wreck. Besides the MSF course, a nationally-recognized safety course, there are hundreds of local courses available in areas throughout the country.
4) Beware of riding in times of low visibility. 60 percent of all motorcycle accidents occur after dark. At night and in foggy conditions, you must allow far more stopping time and be very defensive; it is truly possible that other drivers do not see you.
5) Watch out for bad road conditions. Potholes, gravel, and other hazards are common causes of motorcycle accidents. Be aware of the conditions of the roads on which you travel.
6) Avoid alcohol. Half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol use on the part of the rider. Drinking and biking simply do not mix. Avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages when you are riding your motorcycle.
These common-sense motorcycle safety tips will help keep you on the road and safe for many years. Happy biking!
Motorcycles are enjoyable, and over 8 million Americans yearly register
bikes which they ride for pleasure, to save gas, and to tour the country
with their friends. However, motorcycle accidents
are all too common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, 4,502 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2010, and
90,000 were injured. Fatalities increased most in riders over the age