Motorcycle Safety And The New Rider
Spring is finally here, and that means many people who are new to riding motorcycles will be grabbing the handlebars for the first time. The vast majority of them will be good, thoughtful riders, but some of them will not. Motorcycle safety, however, is important for everyone.
The first thing a new rider can do to be safer is attend the closest safety course. These are usually put on by the local highway patrol and are taught by qualified, trained instructors who have been riding for a long time.
The course teaches tactics like starting the bike and then stopping safely, how to brake and maneuver in emergency situations, and what steps to take in order to make a safe turn. These courses are also applicable to the driver’s license test, waiving the portion that includes the behind-the-wheel test. Your motorcycle insurance cost may be reduced if you provide proof that you’ve completed a safety course. Cheap motorcycle insurance is a good incentive!
Driving a car is not like riding a bike, and there are many new ideas that each rider will need to get used to. Shifting body weight in either direction can send a motorcyclist off course, resulting in a panicked rider. Panicking while riding a bike can cause the rider to lose control, which in turn causes a crash.
A rider needs to have a good awareness of everything around him. It is good to imagine a security bubble or cushion surrounding the rider. The rider has to be aware of a car’s blind spot, especially since motorcycles are so hard to see.
It happens quite a bit that a biker will get hit by a left-turning car. Quite often, the automobile veers directly into the rider’s path and then the car driver claims to have never seen the bike in the first place. One estimate of the greatest single danger to motorcyclists is the car making a left turn.
Driveways are also dangerous, and cars backing out of them may not always see an onrushing motorcyclist. Lighting conditions, weather and assorted other variables all affect how visible a rider is. Therefore, a rider has to be super-aware of the situation around him or her and then decide how best to maneuver through traffic.
Gear is another factor in rider protection. Many riders choose to ride in jeans and a t-shirt, especially in summer. Falling off a moving motorcycle to the ground is like sticking your skin against a fast-moving belt sander; jeans and t-shirts shred easily. Well-prepared riders dress for the crash, not for the ride, and therefore wear leather protective gear, good gloves and a full face helmet.
Riding defensively is suggested. Great care should be taken when entering intersections, as getting t-boned on a bike is not the same as getting t-boned in a car. Pay close attention to road conditions, because small potholes can throw a bike out of control.
Bike riding is one of life’s great joys. However, the only person who is ultimately responsible for motorcycle safety is the motorcyclist, and they cannot expect other drivers to be looking out for them, particularly since bikes are so tiny relatively. Ride safely and arrive alive.
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