10 New Motorcycle Rider Safety Tips

With gas prices constantly climbing, and the popularity of programs like Sons of Anarchy, motorcycles are once again becoming more commonplace on American roadways. Along with all of that freedom comes an increased risk of injury as motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in an accident than automobile drivers. Also, new riders are among the highest at risk because they're still learning how to maneuver their bikes.

If you're new to motorcycling or you just want to practice safe driving techniques, try these 10 safety tips from our motorcycle accident attorney in Wilmington NC.

#1: Only Buy a Bike You Can Handle

You can't expect to jump on a huge motorcycle and ride it safely when you're a new rider. Big bikes weigh hundreds of pounds and they pack a lot of power in their small engines, both of which can make it all-too-easy to lose control if you aren't familiar with the size and power of the bike. When it comes to safety, start small and work your way up.

#2: Take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course

Before you buy a bike, you should take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) riding course. This course will not only provide you all of the requisite safe riding techniques, but finishing the program may also help you get a discount from your insurance carrier.

#3: Buy a Bike with Anti-Lock Brakes

Anti-lock brakes are standard on most new cars, but not on all motorcycles. With that said, some manufacturers do include them. So, if you're buying your first motorcycle, choose one that offers anti-lock brakes and you'll have better peace of mind on the road.

#4: Wear a Helmet

It is not only a law in North Carolina, but wearing a helmet when riding makes you 40 percent less likely to suffer a fatal head injury. Choose a helmet that is approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the best protection, and of those, full-face helmets offer the highest level of protection.

#5: Wear Appropriate Riding Gear

It might be tempting to head out wearing nothing but a tee-shirt and jeans, but in truth, that attire will not protect you in the event of an accident. When riding, you should wear appropriate gear to help protect you from wind, insects, debris, and road rash. This includes gloves, jacket, over-the-ankle footwear, and full pants.

#6: Avoid Riding in Inclement Weather when Possible

Bad weather makes riding extra-risky. Wet roadways not only cut down your visibility, but they also make it easier for tires to slip around corners. When possible, keep the bike in the garage on inclement weather days or at the very least, ride with extra caution if you have no other choice. This means braking gently, taking turns more slowly, and riding at slower speeds.

#7: Drive Defensively

When you're on a motorcycle, you are the smallest vehicle on the road and the most exposed. You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings and leave enough space between you and other vehicles so you can make a quick accident-avoiding maneuver if necessary. With cell phone use becoming more of a problem among auto drivers, driving defensively is more important than ever for motorcyclists.

#8: Pay Attention to Road Hazards

From wet leaves to deep potholes, every road has hazards that can quickly ruin your day out on your bike. The key is to be constantly aware of the surface you're riding on. Even crossing railroad tracks can increase your chance at a skid.

#9: Inspect Your Bike Before Riding It - Every Time

One of the most important tips for driving safely is to ensure that your bike is road-ready before pulling it out of the garage. Check the tires, the gauges, the lights, the turn signals, and the horn to make sure all are in good shape and working properly. You should also check the chain, belt, or shaft (depending on your bike) to make sure it is in good shape as well.

10: Follow the Previous 9 Tips at All Times

Regardless of whether you're new to riding or a long-time road warrior, the previous nine tips are important for enjoying an accident-free ride and as such, they should be followed every time you ride.

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Wilmington NC

If you were involved in an accident while you were riding your motorcycle and the accident was caused by another driver's negligent actions, call The Rodzik Law Group's motorcycle accident attorney in Wilmington NC as soon as possible. Call us today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation.