Motorcyclists are some of the safest drivers on the road. That’s because one mistake could mean a fatal or catastrophic crash. Indeed, many motorcyclists even regularly go to safety courses to stay up to date on their riding skills, and when they’re on the road, they stay alert and extremely attentive to every detail around them. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for motor vehicle drivers.
Considering the risks motorcyclists face, no amount of safety is too much, so here are four tips that every San Diego motorcyclist should keep in mind:
1. Be a defensive biker
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to getting hurt than vehicle drivers, so they need to be extra defensive when sharing the road with cars. Bikers need to watch out for cars quickly changing lanes or entering the road from a side street or driveway. Never tailgate and always give vehicles plenty of space. Maintaining space between vehicles will provide time to avoid other obstacles in the road as well.
2. Scan the road ahead for hazards
Road hazards do not cause the same kinds of problems for vehicle drivers as they do for motorcyclists, who are balancing on two wheels and more prone to skidding out and crashing. Wet leaves, sand, pebbles, rocks, potholes and other bumps could spell disaster for even the most skilled biker. As such, it is best to scan the road ahead for obstacles to have as much time as possible to steer around them.
3. Don’t save motorcycling for a rainy day
The wisest motorcyclists ride their bikes only when weather conditions are pristine. Rain, snow and ice create slippery roads. They also reduce visibility and make cornering extremely tricky. If it is absolutely necessary to ride a bike in the rain, the most dangerous time is immediately after the rain starts because this is when oil buildup and residue make the roads extra slippery. Therefore, it’s always best to wait, not only to see if conditions improve, but at the very least to wait until the roads have been washed clean of potential oil slicks.
4. Do a safety check like an airplane pilot
Airplane pilots go through a routine safety check every time they take off. Motorcyclists should do the same by walking around their bike and checking that the directional signals, horn, brake lights and front lights are in working order. Also, check tires for inflation and wear and check brakes for signs of wear.
Hold negligent and unlawful motorists accountable
The Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida recently completed a study proving that 60 percent of motorcycle versus car accidents are the fault of the vehicle driver. As such, San Diego motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers who are hurt in accidents may want to contact a personal injury attorney to learn how they can seek financial compensation from at-fault parties.