Living in warm weather all year can have many advantages. For motorcyclists, the mild climate lets them ride their bikes in every season. But when they take the road, they may find themselves at much more risk of injury or death than other drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), biker fatalities have a much higher proportion than other vehicles. While only 3% of traffic is on a motorcycle, 14% of vehicle deaths come from those on two wheels. What can bikers do to push down the statistics? Here are a few safety tips for cyclists from the NHTSA:
- Wear a helmet – Protection for your head greatly decreases your risk for traumatic brain injuries or death. While you may sacrifice the open wind in your hair, you could save your own life.
- Protect exposed skin – That leather jacket doesn’t just look cool on you. It also keeps your arms and torso safe from the pavement if you end up sliding along the road. Heavy denim jeans or protective pants can do the same for your legs.
- Keep your feet safe – Heavy boots that cover your ankles offer a level of protection against serious injury.
- Know what you’re doing – If you’ve never taken your bike out of the driveway, take a class and practice riding before you go out on the highway. If you’ve been on two wheels for years, taking a refresher in rules and safety tips can only make you a better rider.
- Stay away from alcohol and drugs – Impairing your perception and response time can put you in grave danger.
Motorcycle safety is a defense against negligent drivers
When you are on a motorcycle, you have a much higher risk of injury than drivers in enclosed vehicles. A crash can put you directly on the pavement, with only your gear and clothing to protect you. And since you are much smaller, motorists in bigger vehicles may have a hard time seeing you and your bike before they hit you.
Taking steps to keep yourself safe from other drivers may help you avoid becoming seriously injured or killed on the road.