Contributed post for our important American readers
Ah, America. The land of the free, the home of the brave. But to what extent are we allowed to exercise the freedom that was paid for in blood, sweat, and tears by our forebears? There are so many fun things to do in life and motorcycle riding is probably one of the most fun.
But what limits are set? What lines are drawn? When does enjoyment become harmful to an equally-entitled citizen? Well, as a general rule, you’re allowed to wave your fist around as long as it doesn’t hit you or anybody else.
But that’s a description that, while it encapsulates the core idea of rights, doesn’t really help much in terms of helping us regulate our behavior. Well, that’s what this article is intended to help with. While it’s true that there are so many rules to follow, these are the ones that you should never, ever break.
Always Wear a DOT-Approved Helmet
This is the most basic tenet of riding safety. You don’t need to finish a few units of Anatomy and Physiology to know that head injuries are extremely dangerous and that it’s so easy for them to become fatal. This is why the Department of Transportation puts heavy emphasis on wearing proper protective gear when riding your motorcycle. Here’s a quick guide on what exactly are the DoT’s standards when it comes to helmet types.
Use Appropriate Lights and Light Signals
It may seem like a very basic rule but many motorists — not just motorcycle riders, but car drivers too — seem to forget it. You can’t expect your fellow motorists to be able to read your mind. Give them a heads up for them to be able to react to the next move you’re going to make. While it’s generally advisable to avoid riding your motorcycle at night (because motorcycles are easily overlooked), if you really must, then always, always keep your headlights on.
Following this rule will not only keep you from causing any accidents, it’ll also save you the trouble of having to pay for medical expenses and having to look for experienced motorcycle accident lawyers like the professionals at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP.
Don’t Swerve, Just Do a Slow Curve
Erratic driving and sudden turns will almost always result in accidents. Even when you make use of proper light signals, it’s still better to change direction gradually rather than abruptly. Motorcycles aren’t as stable as their 4-wheeled counterparts, and are therefore most prone to the loss of control.
This rule becomes even more important during less-than-ideal road conditions. Wet roads, and even worse, snow and ice-covered roads are to be avoided in general. Only ride when the weather’s ideal, unless you really need to.
Wear Proper Motorcycle Riding Attire
No, denim isn’t abrasion-resistant enough to pass for proper bike attire. All riders go down at some point in their bike-riding journey. You don’t want to be reminded of that time you lost control and ended up sliding (quite painfully too) across the rough concrete. Save yourself the pain and the scar and make sure to get armored protective gear.