Five Ways to Become a Safer Rider

Jan 27, 2014 View Comments by

Five Ways to Become a Safer RiderMotorcycling, for all it offers, involves danger. Most RoadRUNNER readers are veterans of the road who take great care to be as safe as possible. However, it’s easy to forget that there are also plenty of new riders who may not be aware of even the simplest methods of reducing their risk. Here are five quick ways to dramatically improve your odds on the open road. Be sure to share these tips with any new riders that you know.

  1. Wear high quality, protective gear whenever you ride. That’s right, ATGATT (All the Gear All the Time). This includes dedicated motorcycle boots, gloves, jacket and pants with armor and abrasion protection. You get bonus points for a back protector and a full-face helmet.
  2.  Hi-viz helps. Bright colors, reflective strips, even extra lights can all mean the difference between being seen and becoming involved in a SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You). It should also be noted here that avoiding riding at night, in the rain, or in other low visibility situations will also give you the best chance of being seen by other motorists, as will riding in the section of your lane that makes you most visible and allows you to see the furthest.
  3.  Take a training course. The more control you have over your motorcycle and your situation, the safer you are. Riding classes can correct bad habits you’ve formed, teach you to better anticipate the road ahead, and make you a more competent and confident motorcyclist. This is both one of the most overlooked and most effective ways to become a safer rider.
  4. Avoid traffic. Plan your trips to avoid congested areas and rush hours. Most of the best roads can be found far away from urban centers anyway, so head for routes that are likely to be low traffic. Or, better yet; head off-road where there are no cars at all!
  5. Exercise self-control. Knowing your limits is important. Don’t set a pace that’s beyond your abilities. Don’t ride when you’re too tired, cold, dehydrated etc. And be sure to take a break when you need one. This will ensure that you don’t get in over your head, and that you’ll be alert and ready for whatever comes your way.

What would you add to the list? What are some techniques you practice to keep you safe?

 

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