Skip to content
7 Motorcycle Safety Tips All Riders Need To Swear By

7 Motorcycle Safety Tips All Riders Need To Swear By

Did you know that more than 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in the injury or death of the motorcyclist? That equates to four times more than if you are in an automobile accident. While these numbers indicated the United States and provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Canada sees its fair share of motorcycle accidents as well.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter where you live – motorcycles are not the same as driving or riding in an automobile. The safety features that come standard in cars are not found on motorcycles – sorry, no side airbags or seatbelts.

Just remember that safety and motorcycles are not something that should be taken lightly.

Common Motorcycle Accident Causes

It is time to be aware of what commonly causes accidents for riders on motorcycles. There are so many different factors that can contribute to accidents, but, for the most part, they can be summed up with three categories – experience, impairment, and ability.

The Inexperienced Motorcycle Rider

Every motorcycle rider starts somewhere, and that is usually as a beginner. In most circumstances, riders are either scared to death or overly confident (there is very little in-between). Inexperienced riders don’t know their limits, and they often overestimate the motorcycle’s limits. Fair assumption?

Most new riders are urged to take a beginning motorcycle riding course to prepare them for what to do in an emergency, how to handle the motorcycle, and all the other scenarios they might face. Not every rider will do this, making the inexperienced rider on the road even more dangerous.

The Impaired Motorcycle Rider

Alcohol and drugs in the system (in excess) can bring a false sense of confidence in some people. Fatigue is just as worse, too. We already know that drinking, drugged and fatigue driving is not safe in a car – why would reducing the frame and wheel number make it any safer?

Impaired motorcycle riders create dangerous situations on the roadways for themselves and other vehicles around them. New and veteran riders can fall into this trap – there is no group of riders safe from this type of accident statistic.

The “Always in a Hurry” Motorcycle Rider

Slow down, Speed Racer! Where do you need to get to so fast?

We are all guilty of speeding when we are in a hurry. It is an instinct that if we press down on the accelerator a little harder, we will get there a little quicker. The science is there – go faster, take less time. The part that doesn’t necessarily get thrown in there is Newton’s Third Law of Motion - “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Let that sink in. The faster you go, the less time it will take, but the more likely you will be to put yourself (or someone else) in danger. You have seen fast riders on the road and thought to yourself, “they are going to cause an accident.” Then you are much more aware. Speeding is part of the ability factor of riding a motorcycle.

7 Must-Know Safe Riding Tips

Accident statistics are not meant to make a person feel warm and fuzzy inside. Sure, the decline in accident rates is cause for joy, but people are still injured or killed in accidents (every day). If you consider riding a motorcycle, the accident statistics should instill some fear deep in your core. That fear will make you strive to be a better (more safe) rider, along with the seven tips we have compiled for you.

1. No Drink, No Drugs, No Drowsy Driving

Much like in automobiles, impaired driving is a significant safety hazard. Even prescription medications pose a risk of impairing driving, so know what medicines do to you. If the drugs you take make you drowsy or impair your reaction time, you may want to forego the motorcycle.

If you haven’t had much sleep, the effects can be as intoxicating as drinking alcohol or using drugs. Motor function severely suffers, and the ability to even stay awake behind the handlebars creates significant potential for danger.

2. ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time)

ATGATT, which means “all the gear, all the time,” is a mnemonic device used to remember to suit up when getting on your motorcycle. Even if helmets are not a requirement in your state, the NHTSA states that wearing helmets are 29% effective in preventing fatal injuries and 67% effective in preventing serious brain injury.

Anytime you get on a motorcycle, you should have gear that protects your body and skin. You aren’t surrounded by a large metal frame like in a car, so the more proactive you are with gear, the more likely you will remain safe.

3. Awareness of Surroundings

Know where you are, what you are doing, and what every vehicle around you is doing. Have you ever heard someone say that you need to know what someone two cars ahead of you will do? It is all about anticipation and making sure you understand the potential hazards that may end up in your path.

Make sure you know the area you are in, too. New locales can end up providing a new list of hazards you were not prepared for. Know the weather, too. Weather can play a significant role in accidents. Hydroplaning on a motorcycle can be deadly. Keep your eyes open.

4. Reduce Your Speed

Speeding has already been mentioned once, and now we are repeating it? Maybe there is something to it? Motorcycle riders don’t think about how fast they are going, especially on the open road. Stop and reaction times are different for the motorcycle rider, so if something jumps out in front of you, you might be able to stop. Still, the car behind you needs more space to stop – unfortunately, you are in the way.

More can happen on a motorcycle in the blink of an eye than in an automobile. Slow it down if you are going to ride.

5. Motorcycle Maintenance and Upkeep

If you are riding around on a motorcycle on its last leg (so to speak), you are likely to be in more danger than if you were riding around on a brand new model. It seems legitimate, right? Motorcycles that do not undergo the necessary maintenance and upkeep can be a ticking time bomb on the roadway. The same applies with automobiles on the road – proper maintenance is essential for safety.

6. Know the Seasons in Your Area

Every season has its own hazards. Depending on your climate and location, you need to be extremely cautious and aware of them.

  • Spring: Spring is an inconsistent season. Sometimes it can be hot, cold, warm, snowing, raining – basically a mix of any weather pattern you can think of. Depending on where you live, you could have 70-degree weather one day and an inch of snow on the ground the next. Know what you will be opening the door to in the morning before getting on your bike.
  • Summer: For the most part, summer can be hot. Depending on where you live, it can be hot enough to melt asphalt. More people are also out on bicycles, walking, and (you guessed it) motorcycles. Be more aware of where the other people on the road are during this time.
  • Fall: It is doubtful that pumpkin spice will be the demise of your motorcycle riding, but one thing that does happen in the fall are the leaves falling. You might not think much of it any other time, but wet leaves can equal catastrophe when you are on a motorcycle. Not only that, but these leaves can also cover smaller objects that could cause your bike to overturn or you to be ejected.
  • Winter: Snow, ice, and blizzard-like conditions. If you don’t have to ride your motorcycle during this time, you are better off to garage it. If you have to ride it, use extreme caution and pay attention to the snow and ice. Make sure you are wearing the gear that will keep you warm.

7. Consider a Class

Taking a class doesn’t have to be lame. In fact, taking a class can be the difference between being safe or being naïve on the road. Do you know what to do if you are in an accident? What are the dangers of wearing short shorts on a motorcycle during an accident? How vital are helmets?

You might have general knowledge about some of this stuff. Still, a class prepares you for situations. It gives you the basic knowledge you need to be a road-worthy motorcycle rider.

Staying Street Smart and Motorcycle Safe

Do loud pipes save lives? Myth or not, the truth is, roads can be a dangerous place for motorcycles. There is just as much potential for accidents on neighborhood streets as there are on interstate highways. No matter where you ride, you need to be safe.

Have you considered purchasing a motorcycle dash cam for your bike? Motorcycle dash cams are great for commuters and are water-proof and water-resistant, perfect for all climates and road types. What can a dash cam do on a motorcycle? A dash cam can record your surroundings – for both safety, documentation, and to prevent theft. What would you do if you were rendered unconscious in an accident? You wouldn’t know what happened to tell your side of the story. That is where your dash cam could step in for you.

No matter what you do or what you choose, the bottom line is it takes more than loud pipes. Use these street smart motorcycle tips on the road, and you’ll have the best and safest ride every time.

Previous article America's Bucket-List Rides and Routes
Next article 10 Worst Motorcycle Rider Mistakes Beginners Make