If riding a motorcycle is on your bucket list, you are not alone. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, motorcycle purchases and registration are increasing. Motorcycles are attractive since they are fun to ride and cheaper on gas.
But they can also be dangerous. As a new rider, it is especially important to know the risks you face and prioritize your safety. Your motorcycle does not have any seat belts or airbags, so the consequences of an accident can be severe. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind as you begin riding.
Purchase the right gear
As with any new activity, buying the essentials is necessary to stay safe:
- Leather jacket
- Leather pants
- Eye protection
Even though Oklahoma's helmet law only applies to riders who are 17 and younger, it is always a best practice to protect your head with a properly fitting helmet. In fact, wearing a helmet reduces your risk of dying in an accident by 37%. A rider who chooses not to wear a helmet is three times more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries than riders who wear helmets.
Ride like you are invisible
Never assume that drivers are looking out for you and have your best interests in mind. The fact that motorcycles are smaller makes them more difficult to notice. Additionally, you never know when a motorist is drunk, distracted or reckless. Do your best to be noticeable by using your headlights, staying out of blind spots and wearing bright and reflective gear.
Practice makes perfect
The only way you will be a safer and more skillful motorcyclist is by doing it more. Practice in areas with low traffic and few pedestrians if you can. This will assist you in getting acquainted with the mechanics of riding a motorcycle. Once you get more comfortable, you can venture out to other areas. But make sure to never overestimate your limitations. It is always better to err on the side of caution.