You can tell that spring is approaching when the air gets a little warmer, flowers start to bloom, and the telltale “vroom” of motorcycles is heard everywhere. There’s no better feeling than being out on the open road on a bike, but it’s important to understand that they can be dangerous, too. There are a few simple ways to ride responsibly, and help keep yourself—and everyone around you—safe.
WEAR A HELMET
Helmet laws save lives. Not only is it just common sense, it’s statistically proven. In 1997, when the state of Texas repealed the mandatory helmet law (for bikers 21 and up), the number of motorcycle fatalities suddenly went up. Today in Texas, everyone riding a motorcycle must wear headgear that meets the American National Standards Institute’s guidelines at all times. Failure to wear the proper helmet not only puts you at a significant risk, it will earn you a hefty ticket as well.
In addition to the obvious helmet laws, there are many other safety tips that can keep you safe on your motorcycle:
- Make sure to wear heavy, durable protective clothing. A helmet will protect your noggin, but if you fall off your bike with only a t-shirt, you’ll leave your skin behind.
- Headlights should be on after sunset. One of the most dangerous aspects of riding a motorcycle is when other drivers can’t see you. Doing this will help let cars and other motorcycles know you’re there.
- Always ride at safe and reasonable speeds. This advice is often ignored, but when followed, it saves lives.
- Know where the blind spots are for larger vehicles, like 18-wheelers and R.V.s., and avoid them. If you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.
- In addition to keeping an eye out for other people’s blind spots, be sure to pay attention to your own. Make sure there are no cars, or other bikers, in your blind spots before changing lanes.
- Maintain a safe following distance. Just like in a car, you don’t want to be too close to the person in front…