More than 5,000 motorcyclists died due to fatal traffic crashes in 2019. To keep everyone safe, drivers and motorcyclists need to stay alert and share the road. Here are some safety tips for motorcyclists recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help you stay safe on the road.
Motorcyclists face numerous safety challenges from size/visibility to downshifting and other riding practices. Safely riding a motorcycle requires balance, coordination, and good judgment. Of the motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2019, 30% were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
Driving a motorcycle requires different skills than driving a car. While licensing regulations vary, all states require a motorcycle license endorsement to supplement your driver’s license. In most areas, you’ll need to pass both written and on-cycle skills tests.
Check tire pressure and tread depth, brakes, headlights, signals, and fluid levels before taking your motorcycle on the road. Check under the motorcycle for any signs of oil or gas leaks.
If you plan to carry cargo, secure and balance the load. If you’re riding with a passenger, they’ll need to mount the motorcycle after the engine has started. They should sit as far forward as possible, directly behind you, and always keep both feet on the footrests.
Wearing a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 can help protect you in the event of a crash. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet, as well as the Snell and ANSI labels located inside the helmet.
Keep your arms and legs covered, ideally with leather or heavy denim. This provides protection in a crash and helps prevent dehydration. Your boots or shoes should be high enough to cover your ankles. Gloves allow for a better grip, and brightly colored clothing increases your visibility to other drivers.
Follow local traffic laws and leave plenty of space between your motorcycle and other vehicles. Check behind you and signal before changing lanes. Obey traffic lights, speed limits, signs, and road markings. Ride defensively—most motorcycle crashes occur because other drivers simply don’t see the motorcyclist. Use caution at intersections.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.