Motorcycle Riding Tips To Keep Motorcyclists Safe
The top motorcycle riding tips for staying safe include: (1) no drunk or drugged driving; (2) no texting or using the phone; (3) always wearing a helmet; (4) defensive driving; (5) no speeding; (6) driving with lights on; (7) wearing high visibility gear; and (8) being aware of the road conditions.
Our 18 motorcycle riding tips for safety
Our attorneys recommend that all motorcyclists follow these 18 tips in order to keep themselves safe:
- Never drink and drive: 28% of riders are killed in fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide in 2017 were alcohol-impaired and 29.5% of the 122 motorcyclists killed in Michigan in 2019 lost their lives in “had-been-drinking” crashes.
- No driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs.
- Put down the phone and keep your eyes on the road: Although it is not as easy for motorcyclists to use a cell phone to talk, call and text, some motorcyclists still insist on doing it. Not only is it against the law (especially in states with bans on texting while driving), but it is extremely dangerous. Research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study has shown that texting drivers are 23 times more at risk of a crash.
- Always wear helmet: NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the 1,872 motorcyclists’ lives nationwide in 2017 and could have saved 749 more if all motorcyclists had been wearing helmets. NHTSA also reports that helmets saved 46 lives in Michigan in 2017 and could have saved 27 if there had been 100% helmet use by all motorcyclists.
- Ride defensively: This motorcycle riding tip is a reminder that motorcyclists that use safe driving strategies and are aware of their surroundings tend to be safer. According to the statistics 42% of all motorcycle/motor vehicle fatal crashes nationwide in 2017, the motorcyclist was driving in a straight, forward direction when a car or truck turned left in front of them. In Michigan in 2019, 67% of all motorcycles involved in fatal accidents were “going straight ahead” just before the crash.
- Do not speed: Another motorcycle riding tip that goes without saying as the statistics show that 32% of the riders involved in fatal crashes nationally in 2017 were speeding.
- Always ride with your lights on: Most bikes allow you to do this even during the day, which will make you more visible on the road.
- Choose a helmet and gear that has bright colors, reflective tape or other materials that will increase your visibility to other drivers.
- Watch for roadway debris and avoid construction areas that will increase the likelihood of dangerous objects on roadways. Although highway road defects are responsible for less than 2 percent of all crashes with motorcyclists (far less than alcohol and human error), please use good sense and choose alternative routes that may present a safer situation.
- This motorcycle riding tip is an extension of defensive driving and that is expecting that other drivers will give you the right of way.
- Overconfidence can be fatal: Operating a motor bike takes great skill and coordination. Experience and safe driving practice are the best way to develop your ability to steer, brake and accelerate.
- Avoid the center of a traffic lane.
- Avoid driving after rain, or during light rains or accumulations when oil and other substances will pool on road surfaces and create slippery conditions for motorcyclists.
- Maintain your bike properly and schedule regular maintenance checks: Check your brakes, and do a routine safety check before operating.
- Wear proper eye and face protection.
- Follow the rules of the road and use good driving judgment: Remember, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
- Slow down around other vehicles, intersections, side streets, and areas where vision areas may be blocked or partially obscured.
- Another critical motorcycle riding tip is never, ever assume another driver sees you.
Need help? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured in an automobile accident involving a car or truck and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.