Only those who ride a motorcycle understand the freedom and fun of a motorcycle, or the risk and danger involved.
In this article, we share motorcycle safety tips for all riders from attorneys who ride.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for All Riders
- Be Visible
Research shows that car drivers and even other motorcycle riders have trouble seeing motorcycles on the road. Take extra steps to ensure you are visible to drivers and other riders. A few things you can do include using your headlight at all times (both day and night), wearing high-visibility clothing or clothing with reflective material, don’t ride in a driver’s blind spot, and always use your brake even if you use your clutch to slow down so drivers behind you see that you are slowing down.
- Wear the Right Safety Gear
Helmets are required in Nevada and all helmets must be DOT approved, meaning they meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Always, always, always wear your helmet, even if you are just test-riding a bike up and down the street. A full-face helmet is your best protection in the event of a crash (and they reduce operator deaths by 37% according to NHTSA). If your helmet does not have a face shield, it’s crucial that you wear protective eye gear, like goggles.
Other gear to wear for optimal safety includes protective hand gear (leather gloves or gloves with protective plating), jackets and pants with protective lining/shields AND ventilation, and shoes or boots that cover your ankles and are sturdy enough to protect your feet during a crash.
- Select the Right Bike for Your Skill Level
It’s just you and your motorcycle out on the road. It’s crucial that you only ride a motorcycle that is appropriate for your skill level. Our motorcycle accident attorneys advise you select a motorcycle that isn’t too powerful, isn’t too heavy for your stature, and fits your physique and riding style.
It’s tempting to buy the biggest, shiniest, newest bike on the dealer’s lot – but the best motorcycles are those that fit your riding style and match well with your overall motorcycle riding skill – whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced rider.
- Know Your Motorcycle
Not all motorcycles are the same. The basic operations may be the same, but how they perform varies widely. Before you ever take your bike out on the road, it’s important that you get comfortable with all the controls, safety features, and performance level. It’s strongly recommended that you read the owner’s manual and/or join online forums to learn as much as you can about your motorcycle.
Before every ride, it’s a good idea to do a pre-ride checklist. In addition to checking all your gear and the surrounding environment, check your bike. Make sure all the signals are working, the tire pressure looks right, and your mirrors are clean and adjusted properly. Take a walk around the bike to look for any visual signs that there may be an issue – like a dent that wasn’t there before, bolts that are missing, or any type of fluid leaks.
- Ride Within Your Limits
We’ve all seen the movies where the guy or gal on the motorcycle pops on their helmet and takes off at 60 miles per hour while pulling a wheelie. Unless you are an experienced, trained stunt driver with 1,000s of hours of experience – that isn’t how you should ride. As motorcycle accident attorneys and riding enthusiasts, we understand the drive to push yourself and your bike. Don’t be tempted as this is a major contributing factor to motorcycle crashes.
Another way to put this is to always ride within your comfort level. Don’t drive faster than you normally do to stay with another group of riders or to show off to friends. Always ride within your own limits.
- Keep an Eye on the Weather
Even for riders in Nevada, where we see a lot of sunshine, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather when riding or planning to ride your motorcycle. Motorcycles are more nimble than cars on the road, but are also less stable and have less protection from the elements, like wind, rain, sleet, hail, sand, etc. Weather changes can cause roads to become icy, wet, or sandy. Additionally, things like rain and sleet can lower your visibility and/or be painful when driving at 30-40 miles per hour.
- Only Ride 100% Sober
Never ride your motorcycle if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs (prescription or illicit), no matter how small the amount or if it was only one drink. Motorcyclists need to have fast reflexes and be able to assess situations quickly – often more quickly than auto drivers. Never ride impaired or under the influence.
Work with Attorneys Who Ride
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Coulter Harsh Law are passionate about securing the best resolutions and settlements for our clients. Why? Because they are motorcycle riders themselves.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, call our experienced attorneys today at 775-324-3380 or contact us via our website. They know what you are going through.