Motorcycles don’t kill people, people kill people. Ok, now that we’ve got your attention lets get into it. As you casually cruise or rip up the pavement, motorcycle riders are subject to more harm from road hazards than any other motor vehicle. Aside from the careless drivers who text, groom themselves, and don’t respect their blind spots while driving, we must be cautious to oil on the road, gravel, garbage, and even ladders fallen from improperly secured cargo.
The Steel Horses Motorcycle club wants to you to return home just as you left, safe and sound. We hope our safety page offers some added reinforcement to your skills. Please contribute your experiences as well, so that we may learn from one another.
Some Hazards include (but not limited to):
|Hand-held Cell Phones||Drunk Driving|
|Unsecure Cargo/trailers||Traffic Jams|
|Oil/Gravel in the Road||Discourteous Drivers|
|Texting while Driving||Sleepy/Tired Drivers|
|Drivers who don’t signal||Peer Pressure|
|Road Rage||Aggressive Drivers|
|Reckless individuals||Sleepy/Tired Drivers|
While these are only a few concerns, here are some tips you can apply to help ride more safely:
- For drivers who tend not to signal when they are changing lanes, you can watch their head movements as well. Drivers tend to look in the direction of the lane they intend to switch too, even when they don’t check their blind spots.
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
- Because of its small size a motorcycle may seem to be moving faster than it really is. Don’t assume all motorcyclists are speed demons.
- Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
- Riders, flash your brake lights when slowing, just in case.
- Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders, (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle’s signal is for real.
- Drivers, allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can’t always stop “on a dime.”
- Drivers, when a motorcycle is in motion, don’t think of it as motorcycle; think of it as a person.
MSF-provided info on:
Motorcycle gear is a must for every rider. Even the most experienced riders cannot control what other drivers do and this is why it is important to wear all the appropriate gear. Now although some gear is better than no gear, lets realize that quality should be a main concern as well. Check product reviews, talk to your fellow riders. Cheap products wear easily, and don’t offer great protection. Jackets, pants, gloves and boots are highly recommended. Its hot, but the pavement is hotter, especially on raw skin. Its happened to the best of us! Last but not least, visibility is important as well. While some of us would rather remain inconspicuous, it is safer to be visible to other drivers.
Rider Training/Safety Courses
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), an international foundation dedicated to “lifelong learning” for motorcyclists, recommends that riders take safety courses. These courses cover the theory of riding, which includes topics about tire traction, riding scenarios and street smarts. Courses also includes practical lessons for new beginners on basics of the bike itself, how to start and turn off the ignition, tips on balance and other skills associated with everyday riding. Besides learning motorcycling safety, insurance companies offer riders good discounts on their insurance policies if they take a riding course.