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Simple Tips for Motorcyclists

Riding a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous if you aren't prepared enough to ride one. Here are some helpful tips that motorcycles should think about when they're out on the road:

Respect Your Limits

Speeding is a very dangerous thing to be doing whether you're driving a car, bike, or motorcycle. It can get real ugly if you are speeding way over the posted limit and don't have full control over the vehicle. According to the NHTSA, 36% of motorcyclists in 2007 were killed because of speeding. A great many motorcycle accidents don't involve another vehicle. In these "single vehicle" crashes, which are often fatal, motorcyclists make the mistake of ignoring the limits of their experience and ability. Whether they over break or under the corner, the results are the same.

If you feel that cars or other bikes are putting pressure behind you, whether intentionally or not, don't ride faster or more aggressively if you're not comfortable with it. Don't let them "push your limits."

Prepare Your Mind

Know your surroundings. Try to predict the road before you hit in so you can prepare yourself to turn or brake. 

Also, understand that you are practically invisible to other drivers. In many cases, you can be in a driver's blindspot or sometimes, drivers aren't necessarily paying attention. Know how to swerve or brake when you need to. 

Being paranoid won't help you ride a motorcycle. Try to be as relaxed but alert as you can be. 

Don't Drink and Drive

This one should be obvious. Don't travel at all when you are drunk unless you are in a cab. Don't ride with anyone who is under the influence, don't ride a motorcycle when you are, don't drive a car either. It's the law. Don't do it.

Do Your Body Good

Don't deprive yourself of sleep. Fatal accidents can also be caused by drivers who are sleep deprived. Get plenty of sleep so that you are able to be alert and adjust to drivers who may not be as alert as you are. 

Hydrate yourself. Water is an important drinking source that people should be drinking throughout the day. Dehydration can lead to dizziness and feeling faint - both things that are very bad on the road.

Build Your Skills

Check your mirrors but don't forget to physically turn your head when you want to make a turn or change lanes.

Watch your speed during turns. Excessive speeding can lead to solo motorcycle crashes. Slow down as you're preparing to make any sort of turn.

Respect the dark. Make sure your headlights are working properly and that your face shield is clean. You will be able to see your surroundings even if your surroundings cannot see you.

Use your signals. It lets the drivers know your intentions and the flashing light might be a decisive factor in whether or not they see you. Don't hesitate to give your brakes a few small squeezes before coming to a stop, just so your brake light flashes. 

For more information on motorcycle safety, tips, and basic information, request a free copy of When the Open Road is NOT So Friendly: Guide to Motorcycles Accident Claims in the sidebar!

Joseph M. Ghabour
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Auto, Bus, Pedestrian, Motorcycle accident, medical malpractice and worker's compensation attorney.

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