Now that spring is in full swing and summer is right around the corner, you are probably spending more time on your motorcycle. Riding around Lake Charles or heading out on a longer trip comes with a certain amount of danger on any given day, even when riding conditions seem perfect.
In general, there are more than 200 motorcycle crashes across the United States every day. While some of these are due to user error, others are a direct result of negligent drivers. In reality, cars and trucks are the biggest danger you face on the road every time you climb on your bike.
Due to the high risk of riding a motorcycle, it is vital that you take certain precautions. Follow these motorcycle safety tips the next time you go for a ride.
1. Stay sober.
While it is a well-known fact that drinking and operating a motor vehicle do not mix, you should also take steps to avoid other substances that might affect your reflexes and reaction times. For example, if you are taking antihistamines to combat those spring-time allergies, they could make you drowsy and negatively affect your ability to safely ride your motorcycle.
2. Dress for the occasion.
While it may not always be comfortable or convenient to do so, you should always wear the appropriate riding gear. The same goes for your passengers. Even a collision at low speed can result in a catastrophic head injury and, at the very least, some nasty road rash. Every time you climb onto your bike, you should be wearing your gear, head to toe.
3. Pay attention.
If you are on a motorcycle, it is vital that you maintain situational awareness at all times. Keep a close watch on what is going on in front of you and to each side. By using your mirrors, you can expand your range of vision to almost 360 degrees. Also, keep plenty of space between you and the other vehicles on the road. By keeping your distance, you might be able to buy yourself enough time to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
4. Stick to the speed limit.
When there is a long stretch of open road ahead, it might be tempting to open up the throttle. However, keep in mind that the faster you go, the less time you have to react if something unexpected happens. A random dog running across the road could easily cause you to lose control if you are going too fast. Adhere to posted speed limits and, when necessary, you should drop below the speed limit.
5. Keep up with maintenance.
It is not uncommon for an accident to occur because something on the bike malfunctions. Keep up with the regular maintenance requirements of your motorcycle so that you can depend on it to function normally. This includes ensuring that all lights work, fluids are at appropriate levels and your tires are in good condition.
While the above tips can help you stay safe the next time you go for a motorcycle ride, it may not be possible to avoid every accident. If you suffer an injury due to a motorcycle crash with a negligent driver, keep in mind that you might be able to file a claim for the damages.