As cool and exhilarating as they may be to ride, motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars. While there might be technologies coming such as motorcycle airbags that will revolutionize the game and make you much safer on your motorcycle, you have to deal with the options that you have at the moment. Here, we’re going to look at which options you should be relying on.
Dressing for the slide
Safety gear is going to be the most important part of keeping you safe on the road. Even if you think that you may never want to use it, that’s not a good reason to stop you from actually investing in it. While you might be tempted to go for style over substance, you should follow the old tip of dressing for the slide, not for the ride. Proper motorcycle riding gear needs to be able to protect you against the friction of coming off the bike. Extra knee pads and gloves can help you further protect yourself.
Never leave your helmet behind
There is a lot more controversy around the topic of wearing a helmet when you ride than there has any right to be. Simply put, a lot of misinformation has convinced people that helmets are not necessary or, even worse, actively dangerous. Reading up on motorcycle helmet myths, you can see that evidence from past crashes and statistics simply do not bear this out. Helmets protect you from shocks, skids, and all manner of impact-related injuries. They do not, of course, guarantee your safety if you come off your bike, but they definitely make you a lot safer than if you didn’t have one on.
Be aware of how much more risk you are in on the road
One of the unfortunate facts is that motorcyclists are going to bear the brunt of the responsibility for themselves on the road because, simply put, if you and a car collide, you’re going to take a lot more damage than the car is likely to. For that reason, you should make sure that good road awareness is always on your mind when you’re riding, and never be the one to drive aggressively or to make any risky manoeuvres.
Be ready to extract yourself from any situation
Of course, even if you are being as cautious as you possibly can, you can’t control what other vehicles do on the road. What’s more, it’s easy for you to slip into their blind spot on your much smaller vehicle. As such, keeping your eyes on potential risks and making moves to get away from them is key, even if it’s a skill not taught in your average riding lesson. Defensive riding lessons can help you gain the extra skill of always having an exit plan should a situation on the road become risky.
Aside from the tips above, make sure that you’re always practising and always getting more and more used to riding your motorcycle. A certain degree of rote practice is essential to develop good instincts and reactions on the road.