By Bailey May
Did you know that driving a motorbike is 27 times riskier than driving a car? Due to their small size, road safety is essential to keeping all on the road safe. If you are a biking enthusiast, remember your safety should be put first when taking on the thrill of riding a motorcycle. The safer you are, the more you will enjoy the wind in your hair on the open road!
First things, first. Before you set out on the road, make sure you have motorcycle insurance to cover any bodily or property damage during an accident. Travis Katzer, Insurance Agent, says, “When looking to purchase motorcycle insurance, be sure to ask about the different options that could be available to you. Liability, Comprehensive and Collision coverage are the main ones that people are most familiar with, but most companies offer many more options like Custom or Added Equipment in case there have been modifications made. There’s also Loan or Lease Gap Coverage if you owe more than what the actual cash value is or Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection in case you and/or your passenger are injured in an accident. You may want Roadside Assistance or Rental Reimbursement, which could help pay for a tow or jump start if stranded, as well as pay for a rental vehicle for you to drive while your vehicle is being repaired for physical damage. These are just a few examples, so be sure to ask your agent to tell you all the available options from each insurance company.”
Here are a few additional things to remember:
- Assess your riding skills and ability
Roads and routes can seem easy but may have some challenging turns that take riders lots of practice to navigate safely. Make sure you have the best bike for your riding ability. If you’re looking for a new motorcycle, keep in mind that today’s bikes can pack a lot of power.
- Take a motorcycle safety course
One of the best ways to make sure you know your bike safety is to take a motorcycle safety course. The course will teach you the traffic laws for bikes in your state, how to tackle any emergencies situations that may happen and may let you try out some of what you learned in a controlled space.
- Get ready to roll!
Before each ride, do a basic inspection: check the horn, turn signals, tires, belt and brakes. Have regular service done on your bike even if you don’t put a lot of mileage on it. Consider getting anti-lock brakes (ABS) installed on your bike to prevent skidding during an abrupt break.
- Know and respect all traffic laws
Most cycling accidents are due to reckless driving and ignoring basic traffic laws. Ignoring these laws puts you at the risk of being involved in a crash. This includes speed limits. Stay within each route’s speed limit to dodge dangers. Use common sense while addressing your speed.
- Avoid bad weather
Monitor the weather before your trip. This includes everywhere you may travel during the trip. The dangers of bad weather worsen when you’re on a motorbike. If riding in the rain is your only option, do not head out after the storm starts.
- Gear up!
Always wear a helmet. Make sure it’s a full-face helmet that is approved by DOT (Federal Government’s Department of Transportation). Helmets are expensive, but it’s worth it when your life may be on the line. Riding gear is also important. Avoid shorts and sandals, regardless of the weather. Exposed legs and feet are a recipe for disaster on the open road.
- Stay in your comfort zone
The route and your bike should never be more than you can handle. If you are familiar and comfortable with the route, the easier it will be to focus on the open road. Consider finding your happy place to keep your mind and emotions focused. Riding in a good mood without stress will help lessen accidents and will help you enjoy your trip.
- Educate your passenger
Your passenger also needs to follow safety rules. Inform them how to behave while on the bike. If they sit still and enjoy the ride, it will lessen the chance for any danger to you both.
The bottom line is to employ discipline and respect for safety at all times. Now, go enjoy the road!