I am a retired police officer with years of experience riding motorcycles, both on and off duty. I love riding motorcycles and have a deep understanding of all that can go wrong. Here are some tips that experience has taught me, over a 20-year career in law enforcement and a life-long love for motorcycles.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
- Get comfortable with your motorcycle. It may have been many months since you have been on your bike.
- Check that your bike is in perfect condition for a ride. Check tire pressure and depth, turn signals, hand and foot brakes, and fluid levels before departing from home. After that, a quick look to ensure nothing is leaking and you are ready to ride!
- Be extra careful at intersections. Always watch for turning vehicles. Many motorcyclists are seriously or fatally injured because someone did not grant them the right-of-way. Always drive defensively.
- Make yourself visible. Wear reflective or bright clothing and make sure it’s protective. Leather boots and clothing are ideal to keep your extremities safe. Shorts and sneakers do not fit this definition. I know of many accidents that were caused because a motorist did not see the motorcycle. Stay away from the “blind spots” of cars and trucks.
- Speed kills. A motorcycle accident caused by excessive speed is almost a guarantee of serious injury or death. As a retired police officer, I know…I’ve been to those scenes.
- Be courteous. Unsafe lane changes and following too close can take motorists by surprise and lessen a bike rider’s response time. Always signal before a lane change and keep safe distances.
- Be aware of road conditions. Spring and summer roads are filled with pot holes, pavement repairs and sand. All of these are very hazardous to the motorcycle rider who is not paying attention. Add rain or oil to the roadway and dangerous situations can become deadly.
- Take a motorcycle safety course. They are offered throughout the state by the DOT and provide great opportunities to become a safer motorcycle rider.