Riding a Motorcycle Safely on the Open Road

It may be a short outing to the nearby market for a few things or a two-week excursion with companions; either way, there are several things you can do to guarantee your ride is pleasurable and free from danger. It would be wonderful if every ride were smooth, straight and trouble-free but bumps, potholes, breakdowns, lost riding moments, and more are part of the experience. The ideal way to avoid these instances of danger or inconvenience is to be prepared. The wellbeing and safety of your passengers, your bike and yourself can be improved by following the laws and rules of the road and by always practicing amicable and calm driving.

Stay Safe by Starting Safe

Step one to a safe ride is preparing well before taking to the road. Bring water, additional clothing, a map of the region in which you are driving, or other items that may be necessary, depending on your excursion. These safety basics should also include items like a first-aid kit and a fully charged cellphone. Additionally, it’s critical to ensure that your bike is well-maintained and checked and that all fluids and major systems, including braking and lights are working properly. You can’t predict and prevent all vehicle failures and breakdowns, but you can decrease the danger by maintaining your bike.

Next, you should ensure that you, as the driver, and any companion travelers are properly situated on the vehicle. This means sitting squarely on the seat, feet on the foot-pegs and hands holding the handlebars or the rider. Also, ensure that you and passengers are always wearing protective helmets. It may not be the law in every state, but that doesn't prevent it from being best practice.

Safety Through Driving Defensively

Driving defensively one of the surest ways you can keep yourself safe. This doesn’t mean driving extra slowly but rather, using extra caution at all times. Bearing in mind that the other vehicles around you aren't just cars and trucks, but that they represent people. This mindset will assist you to make right decisions around them. Defensive driving is comprised of a few basic driving tips intended to help you concentrate on the road, raise your awareness of your surroundings, and prepare you for a quick response to avoid a collision.

Hopefully, you ride with most of these habits already, but here are some defensive and safe driving skills that you should practice while out on the road:

  • Avoid distractions, including mobile phones and other gadgets. Gadgets like these divert your attention, even with hands-free functionality.
  • Aim high when looking out over the handlebars at the road.
  • Keep your eyes moving. Don't limit your view to the road ahead, check your mirrors and other views frequently.
  • Make sure always to leave yourself an out. If a vehicle around you makes a poor decision, do you have a way to get around them?
  • Keep both hands positioned solidly yet comfortably on handlebars.
  • Never drive while feeling drowsy or sleepy. Take the opportunity to pull over at a rest stop or other safe place.

Courtesy on the Road

It is easy to get in a hurry and neglect to consider the fact that you are not on the road alone. It is vital to remember that even if you are late, another driver may cut you off or make another poor decision, and you must be prepared to react. Riding is not a race or competition.

Give Yourself Some Space

One of the most common mistakes made by drivers of any vehicle type is following too closely. The general guideline, whether riding or driving is to leave a 2-second cushion between yourself and the car ahead. This distance should be increased at higher speeds and in poor driving conditions. Maintaining this cushion will not only keep you safer, but it may also save on your gas budget as well. A motorbike that is spinning tires at every start braking quickly at every stop uses more fuel. Patiently following the 2-second rule makes for a smoother and more stress-free ride.

Nothing beats the freedom of taking to the road on a motorcycle. Making good decisions will ensure that you will be able to enjoy this simple pleasure for many years and miles to come.