10 Ways to Be Safe on a Motorcycle - Part 2
By Walter F. Kern
6. Watch Out for Curves: Beware of taking curves that you can't see around. A parked truck or a patch of sand may be awaiting you.
7. Don't Give In to Road Rage: Do not give in to road rage and try to "get even" with another rider or motorist. If you follow these tips, most likely you won't fall victim to road rage. It's better to calm down, slow down, and collect your thoughts first. Then continue on and enjoy the ride. That's what we're all out there for in the first place.
8. Don't allow Tailgating: If someone is tailgating you, either speed up to open more space or pull over and let them pass. Life is too short. Remember that a bike can stop faster than a car so you don't want a truck on your tail when you find yourself trying to brake to avoid an accident. Also, don't tailgate the vehicle in front of you. Oncoming drivers can't see you.
9. Don't Be Blinded by Sunglare: Beware of riding your motorcycle into sun glare. All it takes is turning a corner and finding the sun either directly in your face or passing straight through your windshield. Some helmets have shields to block the sun. Face shields help somewhat. But sometimes you just find yourself blinded by the light. Slow down, pull over, shield your eyes and look for a way to change direction.
10. Avoid Riding at Night: Avoid riding at night, especially late Saturday night and early Sunday when drunken drivers may be on the road. It goes without saying that you shouldn't drink and ride. Going bar hopping? Leave the bike at home and find a designated driver.
What Am I Trying To Say About Motorcycle Safety?
The best way to be safe is to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course to learn the basic ways to control your motorcycle and to learn how to recognize traffic situations that you need to be ready to handle.
Always wear protective clothing and a helmet. A tiny beanie helmet held on by a thin strap and affixed with a fake DOT sticker is not enough.
Maintain your bike so it is safe too. Keep records of the intervals when you replace tires, chains, clutch cables, batteries, brakes, etc. You don't want an equipment malfunction to contribute to a motorcycle accident.
Practice riding under all kinds of traffic situations. Ride with a buddy if at all possible. Avoid riding long distances alone.
Become a member of one of the motorcycle forums recommended here and read what other experienced riders have to say about how to ride safely.
I want you to become an aged motorcyclist because you know how to survive on a motorcycle. I don't want to read about you in the newspaper or on a motorcycle forum or mailing list as yet another motorcycle statistic. Learn how to be safe and responsible on a motorcycle. That's why this Web site exists and that's why I'm writing these tips. The rest is up to you.
This article is also included in my book, Getting Started Riding a Motorcycle, available in both paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.