Defensive Motorcycle Riding Skills: Riding Like Your Life Depended On ItIn California motorcycles have gotten very popular; it seems that everyone is riding a cool custom Harley or some high end super bike these days. It is because of gas prices, or has the social conviction of the biker lifestyle started overlapping into mainstream America? What ever it is, one thing is certain; If you ride a motorcycle in California, you had better ride like your life depended on it, or make sure you have your funeral arrangements in order!
Along with the increased popularity of motorcycles, an increased level of highway traffic and overall congestion has also made its way to California. As traffic increases, so should the awareness of motorcyclists traveling on the city streets and highways in California, but sadly motorcycle fatalities represent approximately 13% of all highway fatalities each year, yet motorcycles represent just 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States. One of the main reasons motorcyclists are killed in crashes is because the motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection in a crash. For example, approximately 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death; a comparable figure for automobiles is about 20%.
A motorcyclist should attend a motorcycle rider-training course to learn how to safely and skillfully operate a motorcycle. A motorcyclist has to be more careful and aware at intersections, where most motorcycle -vehicle collisions occur. Motorcyclists must remain visible to other motorists at all times. Don’t ride in a car’s “No Zone” (blind spot). Anticipate what may happen more than other vehicle drivers may. For example, anticipate that drivers backing their cars out of driveways may not see you; and place greater emphasis on defensive driving. Motorcyclists also must be more cautious when riding in inclement weather, on slippery surfaces, or when encountering obstacles on the roadway.
Using a helmet as a part of your motorcycled defensive driving strategy can save your life. How is that something you can ignore? You should simply get in the habit of putting on you habit before you set out, whether you are going across the country or around the block. Do nothing on your bike unless your helmet is securely fastened on your head.
While the following safety tips aren’t meant to be a complete list, they should put you on the right path to motorcycle riding safety. They’re especially helpful for a rider who’s just earned a permit or motorcycle license and is still learning the ropes.
* Wear the proper safety gear, including an approved motorcycle helmet. Make sure the helmet fits properly and provides the right protection. If you need help, check out the standards for helmets set forth by the California DMW.
* Wear suitable clothing.
* Choose a motorcycle that’s the right size and fit for you.
* Thoroughly know your motorcycle.
* Check your motorcycle before each trip.
* Stay as visible as possible when riding.
* Always indicate when you’re turning or changing lanes.
* Have an escape route in mind for each situation.
* Keep your focus down the road.
* Give yourself adequate space between other vehicles.
* Maintain the proper body posture.
* Stay away from lane sharing or riding alongside other vehicles.
* Exercise heightened caution in intersections.
* Understand how to handle your bike in emergency situations.
* Periodically take a defensive driving motorcycle course to keep your skills sharp.
Don’t let the careless attitude of other motorcycle riders dictate how you ride, after all it is your life and your bike! Always pull over to the side of the road or slow down if you get into a situation where you are uncomfortable or unsure how to proceed, especially late at night, in low lit road conditions, or on mountain roads. Defensive riding should be your top priority while riding during rush hour, or in other congested highway conditions.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced lawyer who will fight to protect your rights, and get you the compensation you deserve. Call 1-800-4-BIKERS to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer today!