With warm weather right on our doorstep, it won’t be long until you are cruising down the road on your motorcycle again, if you haven’t already. Before you haul the hog out of your garage, you may want to refresh with a few safety tips. May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month, so here are the top 3 motorcycle safety tips you should know to be seen and stay safe this summer.
1. Know Your Bike
It is always a good idea to give your bike a good check before you hit the road. Whether it is new or you’ve had it for years, get familiar with the location of signals and ensure all are in working order, check for any leaks or mechanical hazards.
Keep your bike going strong by providing it with routine maintenance, including oil changes, adjustments to suspension and chain, and replacing brake pads when they become worn.
2. Get in Gear
Protective gear that is. Looking cool shouldn’t be your biggest concern when riding your motorcycle. Despite the weather, you should wear gear that will keep you safe should you be in an accident, not shorts and a t-shirt. Bright colors and reflective clothing will help you stand out on the road and ensure other drivers will see you. Leather and reinforced riding jackets or suits will provide the most protection, as will gloves and goggles, if your helmet doesn’t have a visor. Always ensure that your helmet is DOT-approved. Motorcyclists are at 27 times greater risk of dying as the result of an accident, so having the right gear could save your life.
3. Use Your Head
While your mirrors are there to help, you shouldn’t solely rely on them to be aware of your surroundings. To avoid missing something in your blind spots, use your head to survey what is around you and always keep your eyes up. This will not only make you more aware of your actions, but will help you to know which drivers are aware of you as well.
4. Drive on the Defensive
Whether you are on a bike or behind the wheel, it is important to avoid distractions when driving, including mobile phones or other devices that divert your attention from the road. Avoid staring at the road ahead, and keep your eyes moving and checking your mirrors to ensure you know your surroundings. Leave adequate distance between you and other vehicles to provide yourself time to stop or space should you need to swerve. Finally, never drive when tired or under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. In 2015, 27% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher (the national definition of drunk driving).
May is also the perfect time to review your motorcycle insurance to be sure you have the right coverage for your ride after the long winter break. To get a free quote or a review of your current policy, call 724-929-2300 to speak with one of our agents and get on track to saving this summer and riding with peace of mind. For more information on the National Highway Safety Administration’s “Share the Road” campaign, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/share-road-pedestrians-bicyclists-and-motorcyclists.