To celebrate the warmer weather finally arriving in New England—we’re sharing some simple safety tips for motorcycle riders. Because before you hit the road, we want to make sure you do it as safely as possible, with yourself and other motorists in mind.
Here are our top safety tips for motorcycle riders:
On The Road
Be visible and give yourself space. Car drivers often don’t see motorcycles—and even when they do, they may not be able to judge your speed. This can cause difficulty reacting in time. So remember to always give yourself space and time to respond to drivers’ and other motorists’ actions—and give them time and space to respond to you. Be conscious of blind spots cars and trucks may have. To make sure you’re as visible as possible, always check that your headlight is working and on, night or day. You should also use reflective strips or decals on both your bike and your clothing. Flash your brake light when slowing and stopping, and never be afraid to use your horn.
On Your Bike
Know your bike and dress for safety. No matter how comfortable you may think you are on a bike, it’s always a good idea to get formal training and take refresher courses. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers rider courses across the country, and you can call 800.446.9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org to find the one nearest you. Even if you’ve taken a course—practice! It’s important to master your riding techniques before heading into heavy traffic, and you should understand how to handle your bike in less than ideal conditions like wet roads, sandy roads, high wind conditions, and uneven terrain.
And remember, your gear is the only thing between you and the road, so dress accordingly. You should always wear a helmet (preferably light-colored for extra visibility) and eye protection. Try to wear bright clothing, and opt for leather or other thick, protective material. Long sleeves, pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves all help to give you maximum coverage.
Assume you can’t be seen—and ride defensively. Beyond following the rules of the road and sticking to the speed limit, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) promotes a three-part approach to safe riding called the Search, Evaluate, Execute strategy, or SEE:
Search: actively scan and identify factors that could create increased risk
Evaluate: consider potential problems arising from the interaction of those factors
Execute: use physical motor skills to prevent or avoid the resulting hazards
You should also ride in the part of the lane where you’re most likely to be seen, avoid weaving, signal your next move in advance, and watch for turning vehicles. Never under any circumstances should you ride tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Before Something Goes Wrong
Make sure you’re protected. Talk to your agent to make sure you’re covered. Motorcycles are much more likely to get in an accident than car drivers, and motorcycle insurance is separate from car insurance. It’s also required in every state except Florida, Washington, Montana, and New Hampshire. Your agent can help give you a better understanding of your motorcycle insurance coverage and terms, which can help protect you and others in the event of an accident.
At Cushman Insurance, our agents are here to help every motorist understand your unique insurance needs and find the right coverage for you. Contact us today to learn more.
General Guidelines For Riding A Motorcycle Safely. Motorcycle Safety Foundation. https://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/If_you_ride_a_motorcycle.pdf