A Guide to Riding a Motorcycle Safely

Auto Accident Lawyer Boca Raton, FL

There is something quintessentially American about riding down a vast, empty highway on a motorcycle enjoying the feeling of the rush of wind and freedom.  This iconic picture, however, does not show the reality of motorcycle riding in the U.S. today which is that almost 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015 alone – an auto accident lawyer Boca Raton, FL offers at The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.C. knows this only too well.  The best way to ride is to ride safely with these tips.

1) Get only the amount of bike that you can handle. The trend in motorcycle design has been decidedly in favor of increasing power and speed so that bikes today are faster and more powerful than even bikes made 10 or 15 years ago.  When it comes to riding a motorcycle, however, bigger is not always better and you should be aware of how much power you can handle on two wheels.

2) Learn how to ride your bike. This may seem obvious and even counterintuitive. However, the emphasis here is honing your skills in riding your bike, not just its basic operation. This includes knowing how to perform emergency maneuvers for evading accidents, how to handle different terrains, and polishing the basic riding skills. Some insurers will even provide a discount to those who take riding courses through approved instructors.

3) Gear up right. Consider what is between you and the road when you’re going 60 mph down the highway. If you are wearing shorts, the answer is nothing but your skin. Riding a motorcycle is akin to full contact sports and you want every part of your body to be as protected as possible so that should you collide with the road, a car, or any other immovable object, your list of problems will hopefully not include epic road rash.

4) Safety first. Seriously consider wearing a helmet. While many states have repealed helmet laws for riders over the age of 21 in the name of personal freedom of choice, those same states have seen sharp increases in deaths and head injuries to motorcyclists who were not wearing helmets. Other states with no helmet requirement, like Florida, do require riders to have personal medical payment insurance to cover the cost of their injuries.

5) Choose when you ride carefully. There are a variety of road conditions that are not optimal for motorcycles. This includes rain which can cause slippery conditions, especially if there is a buildup of oil on the road, strong winds, and fog.  Be smart and avoid riding in these conditions to start with.

6) Be extra vigilant. Motorcyclists must always be on the lookout for other drivers and be ready to take evasive action if necessary. Considering the steep rise in distracted driving due to texting and other phone use, automobile drivers are less and less likely to be trusted to keep an eye out of riders.  

Finally, make sure that you are visible to other drivers, that your headlight and brake lights are working and can be seen, and your bike is in good shape with properly inflated tires and good brakes. This can make all the difference in the world.