The 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is underway this week in western South Dakota. Some predictions have well over a million people set to attend the rally this year. According to Business Insider’s views on transportation, it’s important for motorcyclists to remain safe at all times when driving. Here are ten safety tips to consider when driving a motorcycle.
1. Wear A Helmet
Even though it’s maybe not the cool thing to wear, a helmet is a must. It’s something that you may never need, but you’ll be glad if you ever have to. Most motorcycle fatalities could be avoided by wearing a helmet. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, states with a helmet law have lower death percentages for motorcyclists than those states with no helmet law.
2. Wear Gloves
If you fall off your bike, it’s natural to put your hands out to break your fall. Gloves can help protect your hands in an instance like this. Again, chances you will actually need them are slim, but if you run into a scenario where you’re in an accident, you’ll be glad you had them.
3. Wear Proper Attire
This includes boots, jacket and pants, which will also help protect your body in the event of an accident. We all know what a rug burn feels like. Well imagine sliding across the pavement at 50+ mph… wearing the appropriate attire is proven to be very important.
4. Look Where You Want To Go
Make sure you’re always looking in the direction you want to go. If you’re backing up, don’t look straight ahead. On a motorcycle it’s important to have a full view of everything in your path, which is why you should look in the direction you’re traveling.
5. Never Use the Front Brake First
When you need to stop fast and suddenly, NEVER use your front break first. Start off by using your back break, and then use your front. Failing to follow this rule will result in you doing a flip over the front end of your motorcycle.
6. Slow In
When you’re coming into an area where you’ll be stopping, make sure you slow down gradually. Stopping suddenly can off-set your weight distribution, which can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle.
7. Watch Out For Sand And Debris
Be sure to always have your eyes on the road or highway, to ensure you have a clear path. Debris, gravel, large rocks or sand can lessen your traction. Typically the center of the road is the safest. If you do see a road hazard, avoid it and let other motorcyclists behind you know by pointing at it with your hand or foot (whichever is easiest).
8. Don’t Drink And Drive
Much like driving a car, it’s also illegal to drive a motorcycle while being intoxicated. This is a no-brainer rule, but still worth noting.
9. Act Like Nobody Has Mirrors
It’s often tough for other drivers to see motorcyclists. To help with this, always assume a driver can’t see you when you’re traveling next to them on the highway. Don’t hang out in a person’s blind spot and maintain proper spacing.
10. Roll Into It
Know your limits, and don’t exceed your experience. It’s similar to baseball; you can’t expect to be an MLB all-star on day one. Your skills will get stronger as you acquire more experience. Watch how other riders, the more experienced ones, handle a situations and learn from them.