Thursday, April 28, 2016

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

As the temperature increases and the days become nicer all around, you start seeing more motorcycles on the road.  You'll see every type of motorcyclist out there.  You'll see the scooters, the commuters, the leisurely driver, the guy in leather, the guy with a helmet, and sadly the guy without a helmet.  Unfortunately, you won't always see a motorcyclist and so it's important to take precautions, especially if you are the motorcyclist.

The first step you can take as a motorcyclist is wear the proper gear.  Wear a helmet!  I can't stress this enough!  According to consumer reports, "riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries, than those with helmets."  Helmets have come a long way, and are lighter and more comfortable than they once were.  Also, wear protective clothing.

Another step you can take to protect yourself is to take a riding course with a nearby Motorcycle Safety Foundation.  The old adage is "Practice makes Perfect."  Why wouldn't you want to improve on your riding skill to be safe on the road.  There are multiple places you can take a course on riding a motorcycle.  These courses can also assist you in passing the motorcycle licensing test and help you become a more confidant and safe rider.

Watch for road hazards and bad weather.  A motorcycle is so much smaller than a car, that it reacts differently to some road hazards and bad weather.  A car can easily straddle pot holes in the road, but a motorcycle could be damaged and the rider hurt in the process if hit.  Also, be aware of the wind and rain.  Make allowances for unforeseeable mishaps.

As a driver in a car, there are also steps you can take to protect the motorcyclist driving near you.  First, be aware that he/she is there.  Always take time to look in your mirrors, and see those around you.  You are protected by the car, but the motorcyclist, not so much.  Be sure to check your blind spot when you change lanes, and leave enough stopping room when you travel behind.

We are all driving out there together, and it's important that we look out for one another.  If the roles were reversed, we'd want someone else watching our back.

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