Navigate the Road with Safety in Mind

Mar 02, 2012 View Comments by

The riding season is quickly approaching. As we anxiously await its arrival, take a moment to refresh yourself with a few biker safety tips. Whether it’s before, during, or after your ride, there are several things you can do to help make the road safer for yourself and other motorists.

Before You Ride
Always perform a bike safety check. Check the surface of your tires for cuts, foreign objects, and low tread levels. Monitor your tire pressure with a good gauge to avoid riding on dangerously deflated tires. Maintaining your tires will not only keep you safe on the road, but it will also increase your fuel efficiency while riding.

Next, make sure your lights, turn signals, and horn are in working order so that others can see and hear you on the road. Monitor your oil, fuel, and coolant levels to prevent your bike from stalling during the middle of your ride.

And of course, check your brakes to ensure they are functioning properly.

During Your Ride
When you hit the road, be aware of potential hazards like railroad tracks, road debris, and turning cars. Also, wear a helmet, eye protection, a sturdy jacket, and pants made of thick material.

When riding in traffic at speeds lower than 40 mph, keep a two-second gap between you and the car in front you. If riding at a higher speed, you should widen that gap to three or four seconds, depending on your actual speed.

The distance between you and other vehicles becomes even more important as it gets darker. Keep in mind that you can only see what your headlights illuminate, so use extra caution if you have to ride at night.

Drivers opening car doors pose a serious hazard to motorcyclists as well. Be sure to allow plenty of space between your bike and parked cars.

Even if you only ride during the day, keep your headlights on to make yourself more visible to other motorists. Also, never position yourself in another vehicle’s blind spot, and check your own blind spot before passing another vehicle.

When carrying a passenger, have them limit their movement and keep conversation to a minimum. If you aren’t used to riding two-up, take into account the extra weight, as it can affect braking, stopping, and turning procedures.

After Your Ride
Maintaining your motorcycle will keep your bike in great shape while preventing any safety issues from arising on future rides. Your owner’s manual should include a regular service schedule; follow it and have check-ups done by an authorized dealer. If you are experiencing problems with your bike, consult your owner’s manual to determine potential causes.

Clean your bike regularly, as dirt and grime can disguise potential hazards. Also, check your battery every month. If the fluid level is low, you can add distilled water to help maintain its charge.

Please visit this link for more tips on how to stay safe when on the road.

Tags: , Categories: Touring & Safety Tips

About the author

Attorney Michael H. Rosenzweig has over 20 years of experience helping bikers injured in motorcycle accidents. He is a partner and litigation manager at Edgar Snyder & Associates. The Edgar Snyder & Associates Harley-Davidson makes appearances at bike nights and rallies throughout the riding season.