Motorcycle Safety Tips for New Riders
2/19/2020 Motorcycle Accidents John Whitfield
Spring is approaching, which means warmer weather, sunny skies, and the open road for many motorcyclists. While the springtime means many drivers will once again hit the road, it is also a season of firsts for many riders. Whether it’s your first road trip or your fiftieth, it’s important to keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe, fun ride for all drivers and passengers on the road.
While it may sound silly, our first motorcycle safety tip is that bikers should ride a bike they’re comfortable with and that suits their needs. Many riders view their bikes as a lifestyle investment, and the bike should reflect a rider’s wants and needs for the road. In addition, it’s also important to select a style based on the rider’s ability and physical build. If a rider has little to no experience, it’s best they stick to models geared towards beginners. In addition, the bike should comfortably fit a rider’s weight and height. If a rider is unable to control their bike, it could lead to fatal consequences.
All The Gear, All The Time
The acronym ATGATT stands for “All The Gear, All The Time;” and is a reminder to riders to wear protective gear while riding. Protective gear for motorcyclists includes but is not limited to:
- Full-face helmets
- Padded jackets
- Full-length pants
- Motorcycle boots
It is recommended that gear be padded on vulnerable areas, such as knees, elbows, shoulders, and spine. In addition to built-in padding features, clothing items made from leather, ballistic nylon, Cordura, or other synthetics is also recommended for riders in case they come in contact with gravel or other materials that can cause serious injuries. When choosing gloves, remember that exposed fingers and hands can lead to catastrophic injuries and loss of extremities.
Helmets should always be worn no matter the age or experience of the rider, and full-face helmets offer the most protection. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), because 35% of all motorcycle accidents show signs of major impact to the chin-bar area, it’s important that riders select a helmet that offers a wide area of protection, as well as a helmet that fits securely and properly. Passengers on a bike should also be fitted for their own helmets.
When riders wear gear outfitted with proper padding and materials and it’s reflective, they are helping to ensure their safety on the road. When riders are easily visible to other drivers, they reduce the potential for an accident.
While unfortunate, motorcyclists are outnumbered by other types of vehicles and are therefore not being looked out for on the road. For every one motorcyclist on the road, there are 32 passenger vehicles. Because of this, motorcyclists must be aware of other drivers, as most vehicle drivers are not looking out for them when making turns, changing lanes, or partaking in other driving maneuvers that can be deadly for riders. Motorcyclists should maintain a safe distance from passenger vehicles, as well as remain on active lookout for a path of safety should vehicles nearby make any sudden moves that put them in harm’s way.
Take a Road Safety Course
In addition to the courses required to receive a driver’s license, riders should routinely participate in driving safety courses to reinforce basic driving skills, teach driving safety tips, as well as educate drivers on current road hazards they may encounter while riding.
Never Drive Impaired
While it goes without saying, no one should ever get behind the wheel of any vehicle if they are intoxicated or are under the influence.
Nashville Motorcycle Lawyers
For most who ride, owning a motorcycle means more than just having a vehicle or a hobby; it becomes a lifestyle and a community. It’s an exciting time in a rider’s life when they get to experience the open road for the first time, and they should be able to do so safely.
While there are many prejudices against motorcycles and their riders, if you or someone you love was injured or killed in a motorcycle crash, you deserve to be treated fairly and with respect. You should work with an attorney who will fight diligently for motorcycle riders’ rights. Our experienced Nashville motorcycle attorneys are equipped to answer all of your questions. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.