NHTSA’s Motorcyclist Tips to Stay Alive While Riding

Every motorcyclist knows how dangerous the roads can be. Unfortunately, accidents take motorist lives every single day across the country, regardless of what vehicle you drive. There are a lot of reasons why motorcycles are more dangerous than your standard cars, and that means they require extra safety precautions to ensure you make it home safely every night.

Be prepared

Having a motorcycle requires a different license than driving a car. It requires additional courses and paperwork, although the requirements differ between each state. The first tip to riding safely is to take these learner courses seriously. Knowing how to handle your bike in bad weather, heavy traffic, and other situations that are less than ideal takes time, but building the best practices from the start can prevent you from creating dangerous habits.

Motorcycle insurance
After a crash test of the accident researchers, a motorcycle is lying on the road next to a car. | Guido Kirchner/picture alliance, Getty Images

Ride like the wind

Without the body of a car, you can feel the fresh air as you ride, but it means you aren’t as protected in case of an accident. Having the proper gear can mean the difference between a trip to the hospital and a stay at the morgue. Different states might have varying requirements on what type of safety gear motorists are required to wear, it’s in your best interest to invest in a good helmet, riding jacket, pants, gloves, and shoes.

In hot weather it may be annoying to wear so much gear, and the additional time it takes for you to strap all of your gear on might be a hassle, but in the few moments it takes for an accident to occur, your gear can make all of the difference.

Harley Davidson motorcycles stand side by side before the start of a biker parade on the occasion of the Harley Days Dresden 2019
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle | Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images

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Riding responsibly

According to the NHTSA, the safest motorcyclists are the ones who ride responsibly. That means paying attention to traffic and driving defensively instead of aggressively. No matter how safely you ride your motorcycle, paying attention to other drivers on the road is just as important, and the best way to stay aware and alert is to make sure you don’t drink and ride.

In fact, because motorcycles are so much smaller than cars, it isn’t unusual for a driver to not see a motorcycle altogether. While it can be frustrating, it means that motorcycle riders have to be much more aware of the vehicles around them, and any small changes in traffic patterns.

A black and white custom, hand made motorcycle against a backdrop of dusk.
NMoto Nostalgia custom hand made motorcycle | NMoto

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Riding can be dangerous, but when done safely, it can be a lot of fun, too. With these safety tips and a lot of seat time, riding a motorcycle can be enjoyable, even though many will be resting in the garage for the winter.