Motorcycle Road Safety Tips
Riding a motorcycle is fun and we want to help it stay that way for you with these motorcycle road safety tips. Make sure you know how to protect yourself.
Motorcycles are not as stable and definitely less visible than cars. When motorcycles crash, riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they’re more likely to be injured or killed.
- According to the NHTSA, 5,932 motorcyclists were killed in 2021.
- 29% motorcycle operators killed in 2021 who were drunk.
- 65% DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet use in 2021.
- Motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle operators and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers.
Stay Safe on the Road
- Always wear a helmet no matter if it is required or not. Helmets are about 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.
- Always wear protective gear, including a leather or reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, and over-the-ankle footwear.
- Wear bright colors and/or add reflective elements to your clothing to make you more visible to other motorists.
- Motorcycles are smaller than most cars and often can be hidden by other vehicles. Use your headlight no matter if it is day or night and ride in the section of the lane that makes you most visible.
- Be on the lookout for cars exhibiting dangerous or reckless driving behaviors such as suddenly changing lanes or swerving into another lane. Being clipped by an oncoming car can knock a rider from his bike or even on to the shoulder or median.
- A motorcycle has less contact with the pavement than a car so it’s important to watch for debris such as sand, wet leaves and other hazards that may cause your bike to slide unexpectedly.
- As with other motor vehicles, do not drive under the influence of any substance, and do not speed. You want to arrive alive at your destination.
- Be careful driving in inclement weather. In rainy weather, watch out for large puddles or water filling up potholes. Roads get slick in snow and ice and visibility can be affected in any kind of bad weather.
- It does take skill and coordination to drive a motorcycle. Make sure you have taken a motorcycle safety course (even if you are a seasoned motorcyclist, take a refresher course).
- On a motorcycle, your front brake provides about 70% of your stopping power. If you grab your brake too hard, it can lock up the front wheel and throw you from the bike. Antilock brakes are a proven lifesaver.
- When seated on a motorcycle, you should be able to rest both feet flat on the ground without having to tiptoe.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published September 30, 2020. It was reviewed on May 2, 2023, and updated for content and accuracy.