Motorcycle Safety Tips

It’s summer, so what better way to celebrate than taking the old Harley for a spin? Riding a motorcycle can be very liberating and a great way to let off steam. However, riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous, if not handled properly. If you aren’t careful, it can be easy to lose control. In an effort to say out of harm’s way and to keep people around you safe, following these simple motorcycle safety tips can make a big difference in keeping you safe.

Before You RideMotorcycle Safety Tips - TJ Woods Insurance, Worcester, MA

The most important motorcycle safety tips that you should follow before you even step on to the bike are getting to know your vehicle. If you take the time to read the owner’s manual, you will have a better idea of how your motorcycle will respond to certain situations and how to best maintain your bike.

You may not be an automotive professional, but you can still check your bike for important safety features. The tires are the most important part of your vehicle, so be sure to check the surface of your tires for any cuts or foreign objects. You should also examine the controls, lights, and turn signals, as well as the gas and oil levels. In addition, make sure that the kickstand and the center stand fold are working properly. If your motorcycle has a chain-drive attached to the rear wheel, ensure that the chain is properly tensioned and is in good shape.

On The Road

Probably the most important motorcycle safety tips you can follow while you’re on the road is keeping your eyes constantly moving and avoid focusing on one thing for a long period of time. If you allow your eyes to focus for more than two seconds, you could miss a potential hazard. When you’re in traffic, you should keep a two second gap between you and the car in front of you. The faster you go, the bigger the gap.

Another essential tip is to be smart when passing.  Before you pass, you should be at least two seconds behind the car that you are trying to pass. Make sure that you turn your head to check your blind spots and don’t try to overtake another vehicle if a turn is coming up.

Riding In Groups

Riding with a group of bikers brings a whole new dimension to riding a motorcycle and also requires an entirely new set of motorcycle safety tips. Before you set out, have a meeting where everyone can be sure that they are on the same page on things like route, rest and food stops, and what to do in the event of an emergency or if someone gets separated.

When you are riding in a group, one of the most important motorcycle safety tips is to be in a formation. In the formation, the leader rides in the left third of the lane. The next rider should be at least one second behind them in the right third of the lane. The rest of the riders follow that same formation, alternating between the right side and the left side of the lane with at least one second between them. Don’t ride side by side, because that reduces the space cushion between riders. The leader of the pack and the last rider in the pack should be the most experienced riders.

Riding with a passenger

Before you set off with a passenger, you need to make sure that your bike is designed to carry a passenger. You then need to ensure your passenger knows the following motorcycle safety tips designed to keep you both safe.

Your passenger should know to limit movement and talking when riding along with you. Driving a motorcycle takes a lot of concentration, and excessive talking and moving will cause a distraction. Also, sudden movements should be avoided by the passenger. Your passenger should also know where to place their hands and feet to avoid touching anything too hot on the bike.

The biker should know that they will need to exercise more caution while driving with a passenger, especially when coming to quick stops or passing. If you stop too quickly with a passenger, you could cause the passenger to bump their helmet with yours. Passing with a passenger requires more time and space than riding alone.

These are only a sampling of the array of motorcycle safety tips that you need to keep not only you, but everyone on the road safe while you are out riding. The team here at T.J. Woods Insurance Agency wants to make sure that you have happy and safe riding. In the event something does occur, we will be there to help you through it.

Where is your favorite place to ride in the summer?  Do you ensure that you follow the above motorcycle safety tips when you ride?