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There are more than 12 million motorcycles in use in the United States, and the number is only growing. As more people begin using motorcycles, it is important to understand basic motorcycle safety procedures. Though the number of motorcycle fatalities decreased between 2017 and 2018, motorcycle drivers are 28 more likely to be killed in a car crash than those riding in a motor vehicle. Practicing safe motorcycle driving is essential to staying safe on the road.

1) Ride a motorcycle that suites you

Use a bike that allows you to rest both feet completely flat on the ground. The handlebars and other controls should be easy to reach, and it should be easy for you to get on and off the center stand. Don’t ride a bike that feels too heavy.

2) Do not ride if you do not have a valid license

Though this sounds like an obvious rule, 25% of motorcycle fatalities involve a driver with an invalid license.

3) Use anti-lock brakes

Anti-lock brakes help motorcyclists maintain control of the bike during an emergency stop or poor weather conditions. This feature is standard on higher-end models, but not on basic models. It’s worth paying extra for this feature.

4) Take a class

Taking a motorcycle class is beneficial for teaching the basic of motorcycle driving, as well as evasive maneuvers in case of an emergency. Some manufactures even offer credit towards learning courses, and some states might even allow you to skip the written or road tests if you complete one of these courses.

5) Always wear a helmet

Helmets are shown to be 37% effective in preventing fatalities in motorcycle drivers, 41% in passengers. The best option is a full- face helmet approved by the Department of Transportation.

6) Wear proper gear

Wear clothing that will protect you from debris, bugs, and road rash in case you slide out, such as a reinforced jacket, long pants, eye protection, and gloves. Dressing in bright colors is another way to stay safe, as it will help you be visible to other vehicles.

7) Drive defensively

Assume that other motorists cannot see you and react accordingly. Watch for motorists pulling out in front of you or suddenly changing lanes. Keep a safe following distance and do not drive between cars or on the shoulder. 

If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle crash, contact The Law Offices of Hall and Copetas today.