Spring has finally arrived in New England! With the arrival of warmer weather, motorcycle riders throughout the region will soon be hitting the road with their bikes. Even if you’ve been riding for decades, it is worthwhile to review safe driving tips every now and then. Operating your motorcycle in a safe and responsible manner not only reduces your odds of an accident, but is courtesy to other drivers. This spring, keep the following tips in mind as you before you hit the open road.
Wear a Helmet
Although states, such as New Hampshire, do not require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, it is seriously in riders’ best interest to do so. Wearing a helmet drastically reduces the chance of a head injury in the unfortunate event of an accident. In many studies, riders who did not wear a helmet were much more likely to experience brain and life-threatening injuries.
When selecting a helmet, be sure it one that is approved by your state’s department of transportation for optimal safety. Wearing a helmet also cuts down on wind noise created by traveling at high speeds.
Being aware of your surroundings and the dangers of the road is especially important for motorcycle drivers. Be sure to look out for anything that could cause potential danger, including railroad tracks, loose impediments and potholes. Due to the historic winter that the New England region experienced, motorcycle drivers should pay particular attention to potholes. It is also extra important for motorcycle drivers to drive defensively whether they are on a side street or highway.
Before you enjoy your first ride of the season, make sure your bike is in working order. Check the brakes, lights, horn, and steering to ensure they are all functioning properly. If you use your motorcycle frequently throughout the year, you should perform monthly and even weekly maintenance checks.
Know Your Limits
One of the best pieces of advice for motorcycle riders is to know your limits. There is no shame in trading in your bike if it is too fast for you. Selecting a model that is safe and within your comfort zone should be your top priority. Additionally, refrain from trying to keep up with other drivers if it is unsafe to do so. Driving at or below the speed limit will always be a best practice for riders.
Avoid Adverse Conditions
If there is a strong chance of rain or even a thunderstorm, your best bet is to stay home. Unless it is absolutely necessary to travel, riders should avoid slick roadways and rain in general. Wet roads are simply a recipe for disaster and should be avoided as often as possible.
Check Your Coverage
Finally, check with your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate coverage, and if not, consider upgrading your current plan.