Motorcyclists are roughly eight times more likely than car drivers to be injured in an accident and 35 times more likely to have a fatal crash. If you’re a biker, here are some tips to keep you safe on the road:
- Always wear a helmet. Helmets protect your head, and head injuries are the leading cause of death for motorcycle riders. Select a helmet that meets the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. In 2014, there were 1,275 motorcycle injuries and 76 fatalities in Kentucky. Of those injured, 668 were not wearing a helmet.
- Wear protective clothing. Protect yourself by wearing goggles or sunglasses, a jacket, full-fingered gloves, long pants, and boots. Your clothing should be made of abrasion-resistant material, such as leather, and fit close to your body. Loose clothing can impair your vision. Choose bright colors so that other motorists can see you.
- Get professional training. Motorcycle riders who are self-taught or taught by friends account for more than 90 percent of bikers involved in motorcycle accidents. Take Kentucky’s Motorcycle Safety Education (MSE) course (1-800-396-3234). Get a motorcycle license, too.
- Follow traffic laws. Obey speed limits (37 percent of motorcycle accidents are due to speeding). Be aware of local traffic laws and rules of the road.
- Ride defensively. Ride with your headlights on; stay out of a driver’s blind spot; signal well in advance of any change in direction, and watch for turning vehicles.
- Don’t drink and ride. Alcohol affects those skills essential to riding a motorcycle – balance and coordination. So, it plays a particularly big role in motorcycle fatalities. Always ride sober.
- Maintain your bike. Making sure your motorcycle is in excellent running condition is of the utmost importance to safety. Frequently check your engine, brakes, tires, headlamps, turn signals and other gear.