Ten motorcycle safety tips to keep you alive and well this fall season:
1. Make eye contact
Never assume others see you. Always try to make eye contact with drivers who may be about to pull into your path.
2. Read “vehicle language”
Even when drivers, cyclists and pedestrians do see you approaching,
they often misjudge your distance and speed. Don’t rely on them.
3. Watch out for left-turning vehicles at intersections
Getting hit by an oncoming vehicle that’s turning left is the most common type of motorcycle crash.
4. Check behind when turning left from a highway
Watch your mirrors and make sure you have plenty of space behind. The drivers behind might not slow down for you.
5. Look out for hazardous road conditions
Wet roads, fluid spills, sand, gravel, highway sealant, railroad
tracks, potholes and other road-surface hazards reduce your traction.
They cause many falls.
6. Take it easy on the curves
Many crashes happen there. You might overshoot the road or cross the
centre line and get hit by oncoming traffic. Watch the road ahead, slow
down and choose the correct lane position-before entering a curve.
7. Wear a good helmet
Helmets prevent head injuries in 67 per cent of crashes and deaths in
29 per cent. Make sure your helmet has a sticker showing that it meets
current safety standards. Avoid buying a used helmet. It may have been
in a crash, and the damage may not be obvious.
8. Wear protective clothing designed for motorcycle riders
It can provide some protection during a crash, as well as shield you
from the weather and flying debris. Keeping warm and dry will help you
stay alert and maintain coordination. Wear your riding gear in layers so
you can adjust to changing conditions. Jeans give little protection.
Never ride in lightweight pants or shorts.
9. Protect your eyes and face
Constant wind can make your eyes water, preventing you from spotting
hazards. Flying insects, dust and debris can hurt your eyes and face.
The best protection is a full-face helmet with a built-in face shield.
10. Be visible
Wear bright, reflective clothing. Add extra reflective material to it
or wear a reflective vest. Likewise, buy a bright-coloured helmet and
stick reflective tape to the back and sides. Always keep your headlight
on. Ride in the lane position where other drivers can easily see you and
you’ve got room to move. Avoid all other vehicles’ blind spots.