Everybody always tells you what you have to do to stay safe on your motorcycle. You heard plenty about using your mirrors and performing safety scans back in motorcycle safety class, but have you ever stopped to consider some of the things you should not do while you’re riding your motorcycle? In the event of an accident, the cause might be more related to what you didn’t do, rather than what you did. Here are some things you should avoid doing on your motorcycle.
Don’t Ride If You Aren’t Not Feeling Well
This should go without saying, but crash statistics don’t lie. You already know not to drink and drive/ride, but you also shouldn’t get on the motorcycle if you’re tired, dehydrated, overly stressed, or sick. It’s always possible that you’ll get to your destination in one piece, but remember that a motorcycle will react even to small changes in your body position.
Don’t Stay in High Gear in Traffic
When you’re on the open road, it’s fine to stay in high gear, but that high gear is problematic in traffic. The reason is that you want the ability to jump forward quickly. One of the best features of a motorcycle is the acceleration, and if someone swerves or otherwise threatens you, sometimes the best thing to do is accelerate and get past the danger.
Don’t Get On Without Safety Gear
You might think it looks tacky or corny to have a helmet, boots, and pads while you’re on the motorcycle, but in the event of a crash, you’ll be grateful for the protection. The same goes for any passenger you carry. In addition to the liability issue if someone gets hurt on your motorcycle without the proper precautions, how will you feel if a friend’s injury or death could have been prevented with safety gear?
Don’t Ride in People’s Blind Spots
Even though car and truck drivers are supposed to be on the lookout for motorcyclists, that doesn’t mean they always are. Since they’re more likely to come out of a collision unscathed than you are, the onus is on you to make sure that other motorists can see you. While you’re at it, don’t dart in and out of lanes or do anything that might make it difficult for other motorists to predict where you’re going to go.
Don’t Take Your Eyes Off the Road
People in cars and trucks are notorious for checking their phones, glancing at billboards, fumbling around for their fast food, and otherwise staying occupied with anything but the road. While it’s foolish for them to do this, it’s deadly for a motorcyclist to do the same. In particular, don’t look down. That will make it hard to see any obstructions ahead in your peripheral vision, and the fraction of a second you miss could make all the difference.
Daniel Thrasher is a freelance writer interested in motorcycle safety and the need for an experienced and qualified motorcycle accident attorney in Philadelphia and auto accident lawyer in Philadelphia.