Some people ride motorcycles for the pure joy of it, while others try to save money on fuel. Whatever the reason, there's one fact that is true. You have to be really careful out there on the road. Unfortunately, you can't control all the conditions around you and preparedness is key. Whether you hit a patch of gravel, an unexpected rainstorm or other drivers around you aren't paying attention, the following tips will increase your chance of remaining safe.
- Take a motorcycle safety course. Even if your state doesn't require it to get a license, it's a great idea to go over the rules of the road, practice skills and gain confidence.
- Always wear the right gear. A helmet (even in states without helmet laws), pants, jacket, boots and eye protection are recommended. Talk to anyone who has skidded out in shorts and a tank top, and they'll tell you the same thing. Require passengers to wear the same.
- Drive defensively. Assume other vehicles don't see you, or are going to make an unsafe decision such as pulling out in front of you. Plan how you're going to react before the situation happens.
- Limit distractions. Just like in a car, the phone, radio and other things can distract you from focusing on your task, but the ramifications can be greater on a bike. Be vigilant about staying focused.
- Keep some breathing room between you and other vehicles. Yes, motorcycles take up less room, but you still need to allow time for reacting and braking. And when you're too close to other vehicles you're not as visible. Just because you can fit in a smaller space doesn't mean you should.
- Watch the weather report. Rain makes it harder to see, and harder for the wheels to grip the road. If possible, wait until the rain has passed or drive a different vehicle on a rainy day.
- Give yourself time to get used to driving a motorcycle. Don't start out on a busy freeway or curvy mountain roads. Start on straight roads that aren't busy and work yourself up to more challenging areas. Build your skill level one ride at a time.
As you're out on your motorcycle this summer, enjoy the ride! But keep these safety tips in mind to keep you and your passengers safe.
Get extra protection with the right coverage. Call Salzberg Insurance Agency at (757) 583-1828 for more information on Norfolk motorcycle insurance.