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The thrilling experience that riding a motorcycle brings can hardly be matched by the comfortable and at times boring experience associated with seating behind the wheel of a car. But, while motorcycles are much more exciting than cars, they are also more dangerous, involving various safety risks that arise primarily from the fact that motorcycles lack some of the essential safety features that protect car passengers in the event of a collision, such as airbags, seat belts, or an exterior frame.
For that reason, safety should be number one priority for all motorcycle riders. Riding a motorcycle safely requires a specific set of skills, high level of alertness, paying attention to road hazards and wearing the appropriate protective gear. Take a look at the following tips that will help you stay safe when riding a motorcycle:
Complete a Motorcycle Riding Course
The best way to acquire the riding skills and techniques that will allow you to operate a motorcycle in a safely manner and avoid accidents is to take a riding course. What's more, a riding education program teaches riders about specific laws that apply to motorcycles, which are also an important factor for rider safety.
Wear Protective Gear
Before even thinking about mounting your motorcycle, you should make sure you buy the necessary gear that will help you avoid an injury in case of an accident. For starters, every motorcycle rider needs to wear a helmet at all times, to reduce the risk of sustaining a severe head injury.
Other items that should be part of every rider's protective gear include:
leather jacket or a specially designed jacket with padding for hot weather
Practice Defensive Riding
Statistics show that a high percent of accidents involving motorcyclists are caused by car drivers. Car drivers in general have a dangerous disregard for motorcyclist safety, which is why riders need to be extra careful when sharing the road with cars. Defensive riding is strongly advised, which includes keeping a safe following distance, keep an eye on cars about to make a turn, and be extra careful when changing lanes.
Don't Ride in Bad Weather
The safety of motorcyclists depends on weather conditions much more so than driver safety. Keeping control of a motorcycle on a slippery road is very difficult, and riding in the rain increases the risk of accident substantially, due to reduced visibility and traction.
Avoid Drowsy Riding and Don't Drink and Ride
Just like drunk driving, riding a bike under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous. Riders should never mount their motorcycles after drinking alcohol, because it affects their ability to control their vehicle, impairs their judgment, alertness, motor skills and coordination.
Also, since riding a motorcycle requires a great deal of alertness, you should avoid drowsy riding and don't engage in any other activity that can take away your focus from the primary task of controlling your vehicle and paying attention to the road.
Make Sure Your Bike Is Ready for the Road
Inspecting your motorcycle before heading out on the road is also a key part of the preparations for a safe ride. These are some of the things that have to be checked before each trip: