While plenty of people love the feeling of freedom and exhilaration that comes with riding a motorcycle, others feel apprehensive at the thought of driving without the extra protection that other types of vehicles provide. Whether you have been a biker for years or are just now considering getting your own motorcycle, you’ve surely wondered at some point just how dangerous motorcycles actually are. Read on for some risks to consider and some tips on how to stay safe.
One common safety concern for motorcyclists is visibility on the road. There’s no denying that motorcycles are easier to miss than larger vehicles, especially when you consider some vehicles’ blind spots. While many motorcyclists get weak in the knees for sleek, black biker gear, there’s a significant downside to wearing muted colours like black: You’re harder for people to see in their peripheral vision. You already cut a smaller profile on a motorcycle than you would in a car or lorry, and you don’t want to make yourself even easier to miss. Whenever possible, it’s best to opt for brightly-coloured gear that has highly noticeable reflective elements. If you don’t want to buy new gear or you can’t bear the thought of parading around in bright red, then you can always wear white or accent your current biking wardrobe with reflective tape. This will especially help to make you more visible at night.
Know Your Bike and its Limits
Another important risk associated with motorcycles is that many people aren’t familiar enough with their bike’s limits to know how to ride it safely. When you push any machine’s limits, you compromise its safety by forcing it to perform tasks it wasn’t designed for. Motorcycles are no different. Understanding how your bike works and how it feels can help you avoid an accident. In order to get used to your motorcycle and get a feel for its limitations, practice riding it in private locations without the distractions of traffic. Become extremely well acquainted with how your bike turns, accelerates, decelerates and stops. Learn the warning signs that you’re starting to lose control, and make sure you’re prepared to adapt in case of emergency. Later, when you’re on the road with others, always drive defensively and avoid close calls whenever possible.
Consider Your Level of External Protection
One of the main concerns for people who feel apprehensive about motorcycles is the lack of external protection. When you’re riding in a car, you have the vehicle’s outer shell to protect you from impact. Unfortunately, no matter which way you look at it, motorcycles lack this safety feature. This means that if you get in a crash, you’ll be likely to sustain dramatically worse injuries. However, motorcyclists can take steps to decrease the risk of severe injury in case of a wipeout. Bodily harm can be greatly mitigated by wearing appropriate protective gear. Never get on your bike without a helmet. Additionally, make sure you have some good leather or Kevlar outerwear to protect yourself against the rough pavement in case of a nasty spill.
There’s no getting around the fact that motorcycles are dangerous and sometimes significantly riskier than larger vehicles. However, when you take the proper precautions, you can greatly minimise the risks of riding a motorcycle.
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