Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that motorcycles account for about 5 percent of highway fatalities every year while accounting for only 2 percent of registered vehicles. Eighty percent of reported motorcycle accidents result in personal injury or death to the rider. For cars, the figure is 20 percent. Motorcycle safety is not just a concern, it is a mandate.
More than anything else, safety while on a motorcycle involves awareness. Know your surroundings, your capabilities, and your potential escape routes. Constantly evaluate possible hazards including turning vehicles, the drivers of which may not see you.
- Wear appropriate gear
A helmet isn’t just a good idea. It is your most crucial protection against injury or death. Gloves, boots, and leathers are additional protection. They are more than just conveniences when you really need them. That road rash might not kill you, but it could make your life miserable for quite some time.
- Check your bike’s condition
Old tires are far more prone to blow-outs. Change them. And check the rest of your bike while you are at it. Brakes that don’t work are a crucial disappointment if you find out about it when you need them most. Regular service and maintenance are more important when your life and health are on the line.
- Speed and distances
At speeds of about 30-40 mph, you should maintain a following distance from the vehicle ahead of at least two seconds. At higher highway speeds, it should be 4-5 seconds. Keep your focus well ahead of your current position. At any speed, if you can’t see 3-4 seconds ahead, you are going too fast for conditions.
Protect your ride with coverage. It isn’t expensive. A stolen motorcycle can easily be replaced if you have it insured.