If you're going to be heading out on a road trip on your new motorcycle, be prepared for accidents. Unfortunately, if you ride a motorcycle, the chances are high that you're going to be involved in an accident at some point. In fact, statistics show that in 2014, about 92,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents. That's an increase of about 4.5 percent over the previous year. While you can't prevent all accidents, there are some things you can do to help reduce your chances of being severely injured in one. Here are three steps you should take to protect yourself while riding your motorcycle.
Take a Defensive Riding Class
If you haven't owned your motorcycle for very long, you owe it to yourself to become as well-trained as possible before you head out on a road trip. Your motorcycle license proves that you know how to operate your bike, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you know how to drive safely and defensively. A defensive riding class will teach you how to ride safely while avoiding the common hazards that can cause accidents and injuries. If you're not sure where to go for a defensive riding class, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles branch.
Wear a Helmet
If you're going to be riding your motorcycle on the open road, you need proper protection for your head. Without a helmet, your head is going to hit the pavement hard and fast. Statistics show that helmets are approximately 37% effective at preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67% effective at preventing motorcycle accident-related brain injury. To protect yourself, make sure you're wearing a helmet every time you take off on your motorcycle. If you're going to be taking on passengers, make sure they're equipped with helmets as well.
Watch for Road Hazards
You might think that motorcycle accidents always involve other vehicles. However, that's not necessarily true. In fact, many motorcycle accidents involve debris and other hazards found in the road. Now that you're riding a motorcycle, it's important that you know how to watch for those hazards. Some common road hazards include:
- Uneven pavement – can cause your bike to lose balance
- Gravel on the road – can cause you to lose control of your bike
- Standing water – can cause your bike to hydroplane
- Train tracks – can cause your tires to get stuck
If you have limited experience on your motorcycle, be sure you're prepared before you take off on your first road trip. The information provided here will help you avoid serious injuries while riding your bike. If you're involved in a motorcycle accident, be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible.