Motorcycle Safety Tips for this Riding Season
With Ontario being well into motorcycle season already, motorcycle accident lawyers are preaching the importance of motorcycle safety tips during these months. While motorcycles represent about three percent of all registered vehicles in Canada, they’re involved in 10 percent of all road fatalities. Of course, motorcycles are a fun way to get from point a to point b but the risk of a serious accident increases due to this form of transportation.
To ensure you’re as safe as you can be while on your motorcycle this year, here are a handful of things you can do to ensure you’re as prepared as possible:
Properly Gearing Up Before Riding
As most motorcycle accident lawyers will tell you, one of the most fundamental motorcycle safety tips is to make sure you have the proper gear to protect you. This includes items such as a government-approved helmet, pants, gloves, and eye protection. The worst thing you can do is underdress while riding your motorcycle. That means no t-shirts, shorts, or loose footwear like sandals or flip flops.
There are different types of gear for different types of riding; for instance, if you’re riding on highways, you may not touch your clutch or brake levers for many kilometres. Because of this, you may opt for a pair of gloves that have multiple levels of protection and are waterproof, which will keep you safe and comfortable for your ride. This is a logical decision seeing as your hands do not have to interact with the controls as often as if you were riding on dirt trails. With trails having twists, turns, and hills, a lighter glove with less restraint on the hands would benefit the rider to have a smoother and safer ride.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings While Riding
Just like when operating any vehicle, it is imperative to be aware of your surroundings while riding a motorcycle. When comparing the two, motorcycles are much smaller in size compared to sedans, SUVs, or trucks, it makes them all that much harder to spot on the road. Because of this, it is highly recommended to avoid riding in vehicles’ blind spots.
Being aware of your surroundings includes checking the forecast and monitoring the weather. While riding in the rain is far from ideal, if you do find yourself riding on a wet day, for example, distance yourself from the vehicle in front of you to give yourself extra time to stop.
It also wouldn’t hurt to wear bright colours, like yellow or white, to help maximize your visibility while on the road. At the end of the day, there are no awards being handed out for getting to your destination in record time – so take things slow and you’ll get there when you get there.
Know Your Motorcycle Skill Level
If you’re just starting out riding a motorcycle, don’t ride trails and tracks that are above your skill level. Often when riding with friends, riders will be pressured into keeping up with their group and embarking on trails/rides that are well above their skill level. This forces them to ride in a manner that they’re not used to and above all: comfortable with.
If you’re an inexperienced rider, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. There are many safety courses which will teach you the rules for motorcycles and often allow you to practice in a safe environment. Not only this but you will also learn the appropriate actions to follow when an unpredictable situation arises. Remember, the time to practice your skills are not when you’re with a big group.
If you still feel as though you would like more practice after a safety course, there are many advanced riding courses as well which will help you learn viable information like maneuvers to avoid collisions, advanced turning, and even braking techniques.
Approach Intersections with Caution
Intersections could be considered the most dangerous part of any trip. They are filled with a variety of potential hazards and, as mentioned earlier, motorcycles are significantly smaller in size when compared to the standard road vehicle. This makes them naturally harder to spot at intersections which increases the possibility of an accident. In fact, according to crash data from the NHTSA 51% of fatal motorcycle accidents occur at intersections.
Because of this dauntingly high number, motorcyclists should exercise special caution when approaching all intersections. It is recommended that all bikers look both ways twice prior to driving through an intersection. Instead of a quick glance, pay close attention to approaching vehicles. It is also easier to spot and avoid potential hazards if you slow down when your vision begins to be obscured by things such as buildings, parked vehicles, vegetation and any other possible vision-blocking objects.
While this may sound like common sense, following all traffic rules, using your signals, and driving the speed limit helps you avoid accidents – especially at intersections.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycles are a fun way to travel. It provides riders with an authentic experience like no other but it all comes at the cost of safety. This is why it is imperative to brush up on motorcycle safety tips and be as safe as possible while commuting because you do not have the same protection from crashes as you would in a vehicle.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers of Will Davidson LLP to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will be happy to listen to your story, review your claim, and outline the next steps in the legal process.