Motorcycle Safety Tips

Spring is in the air. Soon, if you haven’t already, you’ll probably be feeling the itch to pull off that winter cover, jump on, and go for a motorcycle ride. However, before you do that, there are some things to think about to ensure your first ride is safe and enjoyable, as well as the rest of the season.

  1. Take a safety course – whether you are new to riding or you’re a seasoned vet, we all would benefit from an updated safety tips. Quick tip: courses are offered in all states.  Practice makes perfect, so before you find yourself in a predicament where you must maneuver your bike in uncomfortable conditions, practice your maneuverability, and enhance your skill set. Find a course near you at www.msf-usa.org.
  2. Be Prepared – Make sure that you and your bike are properly licensed before you hit the road. It is important to make sure that you have insurance, so you and your passengers are properly protected. Road conditions in spring are a bit different than any other time of the year, so be aware of the current conditions and avoid unnecessary risks if the weather forecast is unfavorable. Be extra cautious on wet pavement as oils from other vehicles and moisture can make pavement very slick. Review your owner’s manual and always carry a small tool kit with you.
  3. Inspect your bike- The acronym T-CLOCS is a helpful reminder for your bike inspection.

(T) Inspect your tire and wheels

(C) controls

(L) lights and controls

(O) oil and other fluids

(C) chassis

(S) stands

Your gear cannot protect you if it’s torn or you choose not to wear it—before you hit the road make sure you have the proper gear, and everything is intact.

  1. Weather Conditions – Spring in Ohio means the weather can change in an instant, from sunny to raining, snow and ice—even a slight change in the weather can alter your experience. Make sure to check the local weather before you set out on your journey.
  2.  Always wear a helmet – A motorcycle helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment to protect against a critical head injury. While you may not be breaking the law by not wearing a helmet—it is very important for your safety. Make sure your helmet is Department of Transportation-approved, and includes a face shield or protective eyewear to help reduce wind noise and deflect debris that flies through the air.
  3. Beware of others – It’s easy for motorcycles to ride in the blind spot of other drivers, making it difficult for drivers to see a motorcycle. Position your motorcycle in the lane behind other vehicles so that you can be seen at all times.
  4. Don’t drink and ride- It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this is no different for a motorcycle. Drugs and alcohol affect judgment, vision and decrease your ability to react defensively.
  5. Wear protective clothing – Leather isn’t just a motorcyclist’s fashion statement, it goes a long way to help protect motorcycle riders in case of an accident. Leather jackets, gloves, pants and boots offer good protection from road rash and can help minimize severe injuries. Reflective clothing will also make it easier for other drivers to see you, especially at night.
  6. Get Insured – Being insured is extremely important with operating any motor vehicle—motorcycle insurance is no different—you need it. It may be possible to add your motorcycle onto your Auto policy, eliminating the needs for separate policies—this would be dependent upon your insurance provider. When reviewing insurance policies, you should consider the following coverages:
  • Medical costs if you or a passenger gets injured in an accident
  • Towing or roadside assistance if your motorcycle is disabled
  • Custom parts and equipment
  • Helmets and other safety gear that could be damaged in a crash

Riding is an expensive hobby with precious cargo. Make sure you, your riders and your equipment is protected by making sure your motorcycle  policy has the coverage and limits you need.

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