blank 05/29/15 08:01AM NHTSA, Safety Tips, Veteran Riders

Safety Tips for Experienced Riders

Safety Tips for Experienced Riders Image
If you’re an experienced or “seasoned” rider, you know the trials and tribulations that come with riding a motorcycle. You’ve captured the killer sunsets and you’ve roughed out a bad storm. You have avoided an accident and you’ve got scars to memorialize a wipeout. You’ve introduced young riders to the thrill of the ride and you’ve lost friends on the road. The highway is your best friend and enemy. You have felt the pain of a sunburn, you have tasted a bug or two, and you have felt the sting of sweat in your eyes. Somehow, you keep going down the road and you would never change any of it.

As an experienced rider, you also know that you are one of the most “unseen”, most vulnerable vehicles on the road and as a result, serious accidents can happen. “Many accidents occur because other motorists fail to see a motorcycle on the road...someday you will have to lay your bike down,” says the Burch, George, and Germany Law Firm.

Reminders for Veteran Riders

Some experienced riders have the “If it hasn’t happened yet, it won’t happen to me” kind of attitude. While it’s somewhat of an optimistic approach, it can also be perceived as a little stubborn and unwilling to change. No matter how old or experienced you are, it’s never too late to start practicing safety (if you don’t already).

It’s true that many riders become better over time and much of the navigating becomes second nature, but the road is and always will be a dangerous place and drivers are becoming more of a threat each day with their multiple distractions (texting or talking on a cellphone). Because of this, it’s important to “brush up” on your safety and take a look at the way you ride.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, avoid becoming another statistic.

l  Be Seen: Many accidents occur because another driver didn’t see a motorcyclist. Wear brightly colored clothing, ride with others, use your headlight, and keep your distance. Black clothing is a “must have” for some riders, but it will make you stand out less.

l  Wear a Helmet: You may be one of those riders who has never worn a helmet and has lived to tell the tale, but reconsider helmets. Even a seemingly small head injury could be the one thing that keeps you from riding again. Helmets can prevent life changing head injuries and even death. You’re older and wiser, keep it that way.

l  Continue to Ride Like No One Can See You: In addition to being visible, make sure you continue to ride defensively, like no one can actually see you. It’s easy, over time, to go with the flow of traffic and assume that people can see you, but with all the distracted drivers on the road, you need to make your intentions more known:

     Signal: You probably use your turn signal when merging or turning corners, but don’t forget the hand signals. Over exaggeration is encouraged, even if you feel a little silly.

     Look!: As a motorcyclist, you are also responsible to look for fellow motorists, don’t expect that you are in the clear. As an older, more experienced, motorcyclist it might take more effort to look over your shoulder to check blindspots. (Muscle strength weakens over time, a biological fact).

When you consider changing the way you ride and brush up on some safety tips, even consider taking a refresher course, you have many good riding years ahead of you. Take pride in being experienced and proud to be safe.


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