10 Basic Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

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  1. Be ready with your brakes:When cruising along, keep at least a finger on your brake lever and and a toe near your rear brake pedal. It might seem cool to breeze down the highway without a thought in the world, but when that idjit in a mini-van who is only interested in entertaining his kids in the back seat decides to swerve towards you, you’ll be ready.
  2. Stay aware of your environment: Keep your eyes open and always scan around you, especially when you are sitting still at a red light. Remember that you are a small object compared to other vehicles, and most drivers are more familiar with seeing larger vehicles on the road. They might not be looking for you, or even able to see you. So it’s up to you.
  3. Be patient: Don’t plow through the light as soon as it turns green. This is good advice for any drivers, but especially for motorcyclists because other drivers who won’t see you.
  4. Keep some room between you and other vehicles: This not only gives you space, but it gives you time. How’s that? It gives you time by allowing you more of a chance to react to other drivers. So when that idiot next to you opens his car door without looking, you’ll either already be safe because you’re not near him, or you’ll be just far enough away to be able to react.
  5. Remember there are times to hit the gas: Yep, it might sound like a conundrum, but there are times to speed it up a little. Remember that other drivers have a hard time seeing a motorcyclist, especially drivers not familiar with bikes. This means they’re not going to be expecting you in their blind spot. Give them some help. Just move ahead a little so you’re not in their blind spot. Especially helpful when coming to red lights, so the other drivers can clearly see where you are.
  6. Lights, lights, lights: Keep your high beams on during the day. This allows drivers to see you better. In fact, it’s probably safest to keep your high beams on at night, unless you’re behind or directly facing another vehicle.
  7. Don’t always trust your mirrors: Remember that blind spot? You have one, too, or more correctly, your bike’s mirrors have a blind spot. Remember to turn your head and scan around you whenever changing lanes or making a turn.
  8. Keep an eye on those tires:That’s right. Check your motorcycle’s tire pressure often, and daily check the tires for nails or glass or anything else that could cause a leak or bust. Keep in mind that a flat tire on a motorcycle is a lot more dangerous than it is in a car.
  9. Prepare for long rides: If you’re taking your bike across country for vacation, or for any similar long trip, you need to get your body ready beforehand. Even if you ride every day, unless you’re used to riding for hours at a time, your muscles aren’t going to be quite familiar with being on a motorcycle for long periods. You’re going to be sore. You’re going to be cramped. And this can make you a bit more dangerous on the road. If you’re planning a long trip, about a week before leaving you should try to get in plenty of extra riding time, at least a few hours a day. This will help get your body, and your mind, more prepared for those long trips.
  10. Wear a helmet: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You hated to hear it, but it had to be said. Believe it or not, it could save your life. Helmets not only protect from blunt trauma, but they can also save a rider from a broken neck.
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