Riding a motorcycle is potentially more dangerous than riding a car because you are without the protection afforded to you in a car or truck. Therefore two of the primary safety tips for motorcycle riders is to protect yourself by wearing protective gear at all times and to have realistic knowledge of your skill level and the performance level of the bike.
Motorcycle Protective Gear
Helmet: In Washington State, motorcycle riders are required by law to wear a helmet. Helmets are designed to help protect the rider from skull fractures. Since you must wear a helmet, make sure it is properly fitting.
Motorcycle Boots or Sturdy Low Heel Shoes: You need to protect your feet from the hot exhaust and engine of the motorcycle and from the roadway. You use your feet to balance the bike when at a stop. Without strong ankle support and a sturdy low heel boot or shoe, you can slip and lose your balance leading to unnecessary injuries to you and your passenger.
Protective Clothing and Gear: If you are in accident with another vehicle or just laying your bike down after losing your balance, protective clothing and gloves will help protect your skin from the roadway. Today there are ample manufactured materials for motorcyclists to protect a rider, allow for venting and breathable wear, and have additional protection in vital injury prone areas such as the chest, spine, elbows and shoulders.
Know Your Skill Level
Test your riding skills before you need them in an emergency. Go to a controlled area and test your skills before you need them to avoid an accident with vehicles that can’t see you. Remember to leave enough space between you and other vehicles on the roadway to avoid a collision. Look twice before you move. Always assume the other vehicle drivers do not see you, particular large SUVs. Many dealerships offer advanced riding course to test your skills. Take your time and build your skill levels. Do not try to match or keep up with more advanced riders out of pride—just let them know, they are your friends. One rock on the roadway can make your day. Resurfacing and road construction is particularly hazardous. Take some time and plan your routes and trips. Changing weather conditions, particularly in Washington State can lead to slippery roadways from oil and other road residue. At times, it is best just to pull over and let the rain cloud pass over. Be safe and have fun.