As the weather warms up, many motorcycle riders are eager to hit the road and enjoy the freedom and thrill of riding in the summer months. However, it’s important to prioritize motorcycle safety to ensure an enjoyable and accident-free riding experience. Here are some top motorcycle safety tips for summer to keep in mind before you rev up your engine and head out on your next ride.
Tune-Up Your Bike
While it is a given that you should maintain your motorcycle regularly, it is important to pay extra attention before summer arrives. If your vehicle has not been on the road for months, take it out on short rides before planning any longer trips.
Inspect your motorcycle for any signs of wear and tear, such as worn-out tires, loose bolts, or faulty lights. Keep your motorcycle clean and well-lubricated, and check the oil, brakes, and other critical components before every ride.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and address any issues promptly to ensure your motorcycle is in optimal condition for safe riding during the summer season.
Know Your Bike’s Capabilities
Being familiar with your bike is essential to having a safe ride. If you have a new motorcycle or are borrowing a friend’s bike, make sure you know what it can and cannot do. Practice riding the bike and get familiar with all the controls before taking it out on a longer ride.
Wear Appropriate Riding Gear
According to the National Statistics Council, motorcycle accidents make up 14% of traffic fatalities in the United States in 2020, even though they only make up about 3% of the registered vehicles in the country. One factor that is directly associated with these fatalities is helmet use. These are the bare necessities you need if you’re thinking of going on a long ride this summer.
- A well-fitted helmet that is certified by the DOT (Department of Transportation).
- Sturdy footwear, like boots that fit securely and provide safety coverage for toes, shins, and ankles.
- Protective clothing that is suitable for warm weather without sacrificing safety features like padding, waterproofing, and anti-abrasion materials.
- Additional safety accessories like riding gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads.
- Choose gear with bright reflective patches to stay visible if it gets darker.
Follow Best Practices for Safe Driving
Safe riding techniques are essential for preventing accidents on the road. Always follow traffic laws and regulations, including speed limits, stop signs, and lane markings. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles to allow for proper reaction time. Be cautious at intersections and always use your signals to indicate your intentions. Avoid lane splitting, which is illegal in some states, and never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Don’t Push Past Your Limits
Being a daredevil on a motorcycle is not fun; it’s dangerous. Know your limits and avoid pushing yourself beyond them. Be aware of your weaknesses and work on those issues. Practicing riding your motorcycle on short trips to get experience before going on a longer trip can be critical. More than half of all motorcycle accidents involve riders with less than five months of experience.
Take a Safety Course
Whether you’re a new rider or have years of experience, taking a motorcycle safety course can greatly improve your riding skills and increase your safety on the road. Safety courses provide valuable instruction on defensive riding techniques, hazard awareness, and emergency maneuvers. They also offer an opportunity to practice these skills in a controlled environment.
Even experienced riders can benefit from a refresher course to brush up on their skills and learn new safety tips. Look for certified motorcycle safety courses offered in your area and consider enrolling to enhance your riding skills and stay safe during summer rides.
Drive Cautiously in Adverse Weather
Summer weather can be unpredictable, and sudden rain showers or storms can create hazardous riding conditions. Here are a few points you need to consider.
- When riding in adverse weather, reduce your speed and increase your following distance to allow for longer stopping distances.
- Be cautious of slippery roads and decreased visibility, and use your headlights to make yourself more visible to other drivers.
- Consider postponing your ride or pulling over to a safe spot until the weather improves if conditions become too dangerous.
Following these tips will go a long way to keeping you safe on your motorcycle this summer. Unfortunately, you cannot control everyone on the road around you, so accidents can still happen. If you become injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, call our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys to discuss your rights. We can help you determine if you have a legal claim for damages and pursue a lawsuit for you. Call (630) 527-1595 for a FREE EVALUATION of your motorcycle accident and let us get to work.