Motorcycle Riding Safety Tips in Texas
Few things in life match the thrill of riding a motorcycle. The feeling of being one with your bike is matched only by the freedom of the open road. There is a shared passion for riding, whether you enjoy sports bikes, cruisers, touring bikes, or mopeds. But as liberating as it is, one issue weighs all riders’ minds: accidents.
Safety should be the top priority for riders. There were 7,481 motor vehicle accidents in Texas last year. Statewide, 1,856 riders were seriously injured, and 482 died. This marked a 17% rise over 2019. Accidents happen, but many are preventable. Today we will go over some motorcycle safety riding tips that might keep you safe the next time you hit the road.
Wear a Helmet
If there is just one tip you follow in this post, let it be this one. Wear a helmet! Losing an arm or a leg is tragic but survivable. Hearts and kidneys can be transplanted. But you can’t transplant your brain.
“I like to feel the wind in my hair!”
“I hate the way they look!”
There are many excuses, but helmets save lives, plain and simple. According to the CDC, helmets reduce motorcycle fatalities by 37% and head injuries by 69%. The minor inconvenience of wearing a helmet doesn’t come close to outweighing the odds of it saving your life.
It’s easy to get caught up in the pleasure of riding. But you must stay alert. Unfortunately, most drivers do not keep an eye out for motorcyclists. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is when a car turns left in front of a bike. So, motorcyclists have to take safety into their own hands, like it or not. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends the Search-Evaluate-Execute (SEE) method for staying alert when riding.
Scan all around you, near and far, for potential hazards. When riding, try not to fixate on one point. Instead, you should be continually checking around for changes in the road, the behavior of other vehicles, and potential traps. Keep an eye out for possible escape paths if a car turns into your lane.
Not only do you need to pay attention to present obstacles, but you also need to think about actions you may need to take shortly. Think about the potential hazards and how they could affect you. You may also want to consider the best and worst options for a potential hazard. Finally, prepare yourself for evasive action.
You search and evaluate so you can execute when the time comes. Execution may mean adjusting your speed or your position. It can also mean clearly communicating your intent to other vehicles with signals.
As mentioned above, you cannot put your safety into the hands of other drivers. That said, you can take steps to make yourself more visible and reduce the chance that other drivers accidentally turn into you. Some of the steps you can take include:
- Using your headlights even during the day,
- Considering brightly colored safety gear,
- Adding reflective tape to your motorcycle, and
- Make sure all brake lights, headlights, and indicators are working correctly.
Finally, you should avoid riding in the blind spots of other vehicles as much as possible. Even the brightest bike on the road is invisible in a blind spot.
Wear Protective Clothing
Helmets may be the most essential piece of equipment, but they aren’t the only piece. You should consider wearing other gear such as leathers, jackets, or reinforced pants. Boots and gloves are also a good idea. Avoid wearing shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. Remember that if you hit the ground, there’s a good chance you will be losing skin (or more) in those exposed areas.
Operating any vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or when sleep deprived is a terrible idea. Riding a motorcycle under the influence is a death wish. Remember that riding when sleepy can be as bad as riding when drunk. If you are impaired, don’t take your bike out. If you are already out, find another ride home. You can always come back and get your bike the next day.
Learn How to Ride
Despite what you may think, nobody is a “natural” when riding a motorcycle. Maybe some people pick it up faster, but everybody is inexperienced when they start. Investing in a good motorcycle training program can save your life. Don’t just settle for the bare minimum to get your license. Find a program that will allow you to feel comfortable on the road. Getting your license shouldn’t be the end of your training. Consider taking a refresher course, especially if you have gone a long time without riding.
Take Care of Your Motorcycle
You trust your motorcycle with your life; take care of it. You should stay on top of your maintenance needs like oil changes, brakes, and tires. That weird noise is probably not going away on its own. So, take your motorcycle to the mechanic if something isn’t right. Riding on an unsafe bike can mean a catastrophic failure that leaves you injured or dead.
Get the Right Bike for You
It can be tempting to jump right into your dream bike, but that dream could be short-lived. So instead, pick a bike that matches your skill and comfort level. With experience and training, you can work your way up to the bike you’ve always wanted. However, always ride safely and lawfully no matter what bike you choose.
If You Get Hurt, Call Us
Even when you follow all of the best motorcycle riding safety tips, you can still get hurt. Nowadays, far too many distracted drivers are looking at their phones and not the road. If you get hurt, the Hartley Law Firm wants to help. Austin Hartley is an experienced injury attorney who understands motor vehicle accidents. Austin will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our lawyer today for your free consultation.