Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Tips
Gear Up & Ride Safe This Motorcycle Season
Read our Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Tips from our Commercial Account Executive, Christina Kelley. Find out more about Christina or book an appointment with her HERE.
For many of us, riding is a way to escape the ordinary or the mundane. We anticipate those all too brief moments when we feel the sun on our backs and can smell the scent of spruce and pine trees co-mingling with fresh cut grass and backyard barbeques. For others, riding is a way of life, and there is nothing more gratifying than the feel of the road beneath their tires and the engine rumbling between their legs.
While there may be many reasons to ride, the one thing all riders share in common is our vulnerability on the road. May is Motorcycle Awareness month, and as we kick-off this year’s riding season, here are a few tips to help keep you safe:
Know your skill level & ride within it.
Exercise good judgement in ride selection. Know how much weight you can handle and how much power you can safely control. You should be able to plant your feet on the ground, and your arms at a comfortable angle.
Take a motorcycle training course, and always plan your route ahead. When travelling in a group, be mindful of your limitations, and don’t push them to keep pace with others. Be prepared for inclement weather, and leave your bike at home if you’re not confident riding in it.
Love your ride & get to know every inch of it.
A motorcycle in poor running condition is a danger to the rider, as well as other drivers on the road. Get to know every inch of your motorcycle, and perform a proper mechanical pre-trip inspection each time you ride. Learn how to check your tires, frame, lights, fluids, brakes and controls.
Remember, if something doesn’t look or feel right, it probably isn’t. If you aren’t sure that your motorcycle is in proper running condition, do not ride it until it can be examined by a certified motorcycle technician.
Annual maintenance and adequate winter storage are equally important and should not be overlooked.
Leave your flip-flops at home.
No one plans to be involved in a collision, but even the most highly skilled riders in the best conditions can find themselves in a potentially fatal situation. From the moment you open that throttle, the only thing protecting you from a serious case of road rash (or worse!) is the gear you’re wearing.
The proper equipment will not only prevent serious injury, but it is also our greatest combatant against the elements. Always protect your face. Wear pants, not shorts. Never ride without boots, gloves, and a helmet that complies with federal safety standards. Your clothing should be well-fitted, well-vented, and made with leather, textile or Kevlar material.
Always insist that your passengers adhere to the same set of standards.
Never assume another driver can see you.
Choose lane placement wisely, and always ride in the most visible position. Know and obey the rules of the road, ride defensively and within the speed limit. Slow down in inclement weather, maintain a clear line sight, and always be on the look out for debris and other road hazards. Avoid other drivers’ blind spots, and make sure to keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles. Signal well in advance, and learn to use hand signals as well as the turn signals your bike is equipped with.
Be especially vigilant at intersections. Stay Alert and ride sober.
Protect your Investment.
Keeping yourself and others safe is arguably the most important priority this riding season, but it isn’t the only thing motorcycle owners should keep in mind. Before you set out on the road, it’s important to make sure that the money you’ve invested to ride is properly insured in the event of a collision or other claim situation.
If you lay your bike down and destroy your riding gear, will your insurance company provide coverage to replace them?
Is damage to your motorcycle covered if it falls off the vehicle or trailer transporting it?
Is your aftermarket sound system or custom exhaust considered in the actual cash value of your motorcycle, or do additional coverages need to purchased?
Is the cost of that killer paint job taken into consideration when determining the value of your motorcycle? If not, what are the steps you can take to ensure your financial investment is protected?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, make sure to reach out to your insurance agent to start the conversation today!
For more information on Alberta safety standards and regulations, visit https://www.alberta.ca/motorcycle-safety.aspx or check out the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society website to find additional resources for the new and well-seasoned rider.