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"Motorcycle Safety Tips"

Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben Website
March 2007

Article Author: James R. Schwebel

An average of 166,000 Americans are hospitalized as a result of a motorcycle accident and worse yet, nearly 5,000 will die in any given year. Numerous others will be crippled for life.  There are three primary reasons have been identified:

1. Motorcycles are harder to see than a car.
2. Motorcycles are open air vehicles, and offer no protection for the rider.
3. Since it’s on two wheels, handling can be difficult with skidding often ending in a crash.

Follow these simple safety tips and you can safely enjoy the sense of freedom and control that comes from riding a motorcycle:

  • Always wear a helmet as well as eye and face protection.
  • Never ride a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ride with extreme care. Steering, accelerating and braking require skill and a high degree of coordination.
  • Get licensed (all states require a motorcycle license).
  • If you are a new rider, take a motorcycle safe riding class. Take one even if you think you are an experienced rider. You’ll be surprised what you didn’t know.
  • Drive Defensively. Do not expect that car drivers will give you the right-of-way.
  • Avoid the center of the lane where debris and oil droppings from cars accumulate. Also watch for other hazards including pot holes, cracks, sand, etc.
  • Wear a proper outfit – leather gloves, jacket and boots will protect you from “road rash.”
  • Always ride with your headlight on if permitted by traffic laws even during the daytime. It will make you more visible to other drivers.
  • Apply reflective tape to your helmet.
  • Maintain your bike regularly. Make sure the brakes are in order. Do routine chain and engine checks before riding.
  • Follow all rules of the road and don’t speed. Nearly 40 percent of riders killed were speeding.
  • Watch out for other vehicles coming from driveways and side streets.
  • Don't let anyone ride with you as a passenger until you are a skilled rider.