Riding a motorcycle may feel liberating: the speed, the fun, the fresh air. However, riding a bike can be a dangerous activity. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,014 motorcyclists died in fatal traffic crashes in 2019 in the United States. Motorcycles have less protection and visibility than cars, which is why the riders should take every measure possible to make their ride safer.
You must have a DL license to ride a motorcycle. Having a DL license is not only a legal requirement, but also a safety measure. Of all the motorcycle riders involved in a fatal crash in 2019, 30% did not have a license. To earn your DL license, you will need to pass specific tests and prove that you have sufficient knowledge and skills to ride without putting yourself at risk.
Even expert drivers can get in an accident if their motorcycle’s tires are worn down or if their brakes are not working. Before you hit the road, you need to inspect the following:
- Hand and foot brakes
- Headlights and signal indicators
- Gas or oil leaks
If you carry a passenger or another extra load on your bike, you also need to adjust the suspension and tire pressure accordingly.
Riders must wear a helmet in California. However, not all helmets will give you the protection you need. To prevent serious head injuries, wear a helmet that complies with the U.S. DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standard. When buying a helmet, check if it has the DOT lettering on the back. Be careful, as the lettering should not be a stick-on label or easily removed. You should also consider wearing a face shield and goggles to protect your face and eyes from wind, dust, rain, insects and other debris.
Obey traffic laws
Respecting stop signs, traffic lights, lane markings and speed limits is crucial. If you don’t break the traffic laws, the chances of you getting into an accident will decrease significantly. You must also leave plenty of room between your bike and other vehicles in case they brake or change lanes unexpectedly. Always be aware of the cars around you.
Motorcycles are fun, but you always need to use them responsibly. If you are under the influence, or the weather is bad, leave the bike at home and use another mode of transportation instead. Your safety should always come first.