Interested in buying a motorcycle? The roar of an engine on the open road can be enticing. But there are practical concerns to consider before purchasing a brand-new bike. Hitting the road before doing your research can lead to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. These top motorcycle safety tips could potentially be the difference between life and death.
Bike Safety & Choosing the Right Bike
First, you need to choose the right bike. Finding the correct type of motorcycle depends on your experience and comfort level on the road. Some bikes could be in your price range but may be too advanced for a beginner.
Next, study up on road safety and specific concerns for motorcycle riders. Nevada requires a valid Class M motorcycle driver’s license to ride on public streets. Getting a license helps you learn the appropriate laws, tips, tricks, and basic safety standards to protect you and other motorists on the road.
Of all fatal motorcycle crashes in the United States in 2020, 36% were riders without a valid motorcycle license. Educating yourself before you hit the road can help you avoid common mistakes and mishaps that cause accidents.
Once you’re licensed and have the right bike, it’s time to stock up on the required safety gear.
Selecting the Proper Safety Gear
Gearing up before a motorcycle ride is essential every time you get on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that your arms and legs be covered entirely by durable material like denim or leather. Your boots or shoes should be heavy-duty with enough length to cover your ankles. Wear riding gloves to protect your hands and improve your grip on the handlebars.
Wear Gear That Makes You Visible
If you’re driving at night, wear brightly colored clothing and reflective patches to improve your visibility to other drivers.
Always Wear a Helmet
Finally, you must wear a helmet every time you ride your motorcycle. Between 2014 and 2018, Nevada had a total of 48 fatalities because of motorcyclists without helmets; 34 of those fatalities were in Clark County alone.
Make sure your helmet is the right size and shape and meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Beware of novelty helmets that are typically not DOT-certified and lack basic safety standards.
Motorcycle maintenance and upkeep are essential to ensure you’re safe on the road. A faulty wire, a flat tire, or a burnt-out headlight could cause an accident, especially at high speeds, at night, or during inclement weather. Even when you’re not using your bike, you should store it in a safe, dry place to avoid damage.
According to the NHTSA, you should inspect the following parts of your motorcycle before every ride:
- Tire pressure and tread depth.
- Hand and foot brakes.
- Headlights and signal indicators.
- Fluid levels (oil, fuel, etc.) and any signs of leaks.
Best Practices for Riding
Following best practices while riding your motorcycle can help you avoid common accident causes.
According to the NHTSA, you should “drive defensively.”
You must be a vigilant, proactive driver whenever you’re on the road. Accidents can happen even on a clear, sunny day if you’re careless or distracted.
Best practices while driving a motorcycle can include:
- Securing any cargo you might be carrying and ensuring it’s not too much weight for your bike.
- Never splitting lanes or weaving between cars or trucks.
- Never dismount the bike until it is completely stopped.
- Ensuring your passengers wear a DOT-certified helmet, hold on properly, and place their feet away from the muffler.
Call a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Today
Being proactive and following the mentioned motorcycle safety tips can help you avoid causing accidents. But they can still happen on our busy roadways. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident here in Clark County, the experienced litigators at Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers are ready to represent you. For more information, call (702) 330-3608 or fill out our contact form.