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Motorcycle safety tips & precautions

There are many reasons to love motorcycling: the freedom of the road, the Pennsylvania scenery and the wind in your hair. When you are in an accident, though, you are at significantly more risk than other drivers. How can you keep yourself safe from these devastating accidents and enjoy getting out on the road?

Motorcyclists face more risks on the road than any other driver. And raising awareness can help boost safety for motorcyclists and drivers alike on Pennsylvania roads.

The risk of riding a motorcycle

Even with safety precautions, motorcycles can be dangerous to drive. Thousands of motorcyclists are injured every year in the United States, and it is estimated that motorcycle accidents are 28 times deadlier than car accidents. Motorcyclists are significantly less protected than drivers of cars, trucks and other motor vehicles, and it is essential that you keep this in mind when motorcycling.

Recent accidents only increase the need for safety

There were already many catastrophic motorcycle accidents in the greater Allentown area this April. One left a 23-year-old woman dead. These recent accidents only added to this month’s efforts to raise awareness about motorcycle safety.

Police and lawmakers are not the only ones who can make changes that protect motorcyclists. Both drivers and motorcyclists alike have the power to make roads safer.

Safety tips for motorcyclists

While some accidents cannot be avoided, it is important that you take precautions to keep yourself safe. These precautions can include:
Inspect the motorcycle before every ride. Make sure that your lights, brakes and other safety systems are fully functional.
Be cautious at intersections.

  • Take care when trees, hills or buildings block your view
  • Check your blind spots
  • Be defensive around other drivers. Give yourself ample space to slow and stop
  • Avoid riding at night
  • Wear protective gear, such as a helmet, and cover up skin
  • Review the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s manual

Many motorcycle dealerships around the area offer riding clinics for new and veteran motorcyclists. These clinics help motorcyclists improve and maintain their riding skills, especially after the winter months.

The most important tip is to wear a helmet. Wearing protection is key to keeping yourself from serious or catastrophic injuries if you are in an accident. Wearing a helmet while motorcycling could prevent about 37 percent of deaths and 67 percent of head injuries.
While riding a motorcycle can put you at serious risk in an accident, by taking care, you can help protect both yourself and the other drivers around you.

Safety tips for car drivers to reduce danger for motorcyclists

Even compact cars pose a real danger to motorcyclists. Any car is larger and heavier than a motorcycle. So, a collision is almost always worse for the motorcycle. Drivers can help reduce the chance of a motorcycle crash when they:

  • Check blind spots carefully when turning or changing lanes
  • Give motorcyclists plenty of room on the road and at stoplights
  • Review and understand a motorcyclist’s right of way
  • Take care at busy intersections, since other cars can hide motorcycles
  • Use turn signals liberally to give motorcyclists warning

The adage of “look twice for motorcycles” is also a helpful tip for all motorists to follow.

Sharing the road does not have to be dangerous

Practicing these tips can help drivers and motorcyclists share the road responsibly and safely. And sharing a safe road could help reduce the chance of fatalities and injuries for both motorcyclists and drivers.