Motorcycle Rider Safety

Ten helpful tips in preventing motorcycle injuries and accidents:

1.) Get professionally trained in motorcycle riding. Research shows that more than 90 percent of all riders that were involved in crashes are just self-taught or taught by friends.

2.) Secure your California (M1) motorcycle license. Nearly 27 percent or one out of four motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2001 was not properly licensed. And more than half of the accident-involved riders had less than 5 months experience on their motorcycle.

3.) Do not drink or consume alcohol and ride. Those most at risk in getting into motorcycle accidents are inebriated or intoxicated riders. Almost 50% of all fatal motorcycle accidents show alcohol involvement.

4.) Wear a helmet! Make sure your helmet meets the DOT standards and or is SNELL approved. Helmeted riders had less neck injuries than un-helmeted riders. A helmet is the single-most critical factor in the prevention or reduction of head injuries and a full-face helmet gives the best protection!

5.) Wear protective clothing including eye protection. A full-face helmet is even better. Wear a quality motorcycle jacket, full-fingered gloves, long pants and over-the-ankle boots.

6.) Make sure your motorcycle clothing and gear are made of abrasion-resistant material, such as leather. Avoid loose, flailing clothing that could impair your vision. Do not ride wearing shorts and t-shirts.

7.) Wearing brightly colored garments may help other vehicles see / notice you. Accidents are significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets. If possible avoid "black" or other dark colors.

8.) Proper maintenance and monitoring of your bike is of high importance. Observe proper lane positioning of your bike to further increase your visibility to drivers. Keeping a safe "space cushion" between your bike and other traffic should also be kept in mind.

9.) Avoid sharing a lane with a car or truck since it's driver may not expect you to be there or may not become aware of your presence. Most drivers look out for other bigger vehicles that they may fail to notice you instantly unless something has happened already.

10.) Ride according to your skill level. Never over-estimate yourself or your riding ability.

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Motorcycle Safety and Awareness

Did you know that 46% of all motorcycle crashes occur at intersections? Or that, on average, three motorcyclists are killed every day in the U.S. as a result of multi-vehicle crashes at intersections? Here are some steps you can take to help stay safe on the road:

Get Ready for Riding Season

Before you hit the road after a long winter, give your bike the once-over.
• Test the lights, brakes, and turn signals.
• Check the oil and fuel levels.
• Make sure the mirrors are positioned correctly.
• Check the cables to make sure they aren't worn or frayed.
• Lube the chain and adjust it according to the manufacturer's specs.
• Try a rider-training course to brush up on your skills.

Invest in Good Gear

When you're on the open road, there's not much between you and the pavement. Wearing tough gear is always a smart move.

• Pick a high-quality helmet that fits well. If it doesn't have a face shield, pair it up with goggles or glasses with safety lenses.
• Use safety as your excuse to shell out for that leather jacket. Get the pants while you're at it. (We know black and bikes are a perfect match, but a bright color will help other drivers see you better.)
• Wear durable non-slip gloves.
• Invest in boots or sneakers that cover your ankles.

When You're Out on the Road

Let's be honest: There's a lot of stuff out there that's bigger than your bike. But there's a lot you can do to help keep yourself safe while riding.

• Always wear a helmet that fits right. Pick one that has the DOT label, which shows that it meets federal safety standards.
• Know your bike's limits.
• Stick to the speed limit.
• Don't tailgate other vehicles.
• Use your signals.
• Be respectful of other drivers. Don't weave through traffic or drive on the shoulder.
• Make sure other drivers can see you. Don't ride in blind spots and always use your headlights.
• Brake smart. Use both brakes at the same time, slow and steady.

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