‘Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.’ Anyone who’s ever ridden a motorcycle can relate to this statement. But with this awesome experience comes great risk as motorcycle accident stats show. Unfortunately, accidents involving motorcycles tend to be far more serious than car accidents for the simple reason that motorcycles do not have the same structural protection that a car offers. If you choose to take the risk it is important to do all in your power to stay safe and that starts even before you get on your bike. Here are 8 tips for motorcycle safety:
Tip #1: Know Your Motorcycle Inside and Out
It doesn’t matter if your motorbike is second hand or brand new off the rack or customized you should be perfectly familiar with its controls. Practice in a safe place and get to know your bike and how it handles.
Tip #2: Always Wear A Helmet
Don’t compromise on its quality: that’s biking 101. Even though everyone knows this it is perhaps the most neglected of all the safety measures. The helmet is the most important accessory of a motorcycle and it saves your head from injury in the event of an accident. It is absolutely necessary that the helmet meets safety standards.
Tip #3: Wear Proper Clothing
It’s tempting in hot weather to leave your legs and arms bare. But this is an enormous safety risk and can lead to bad injuries even in a minor crash. While most riders adhere to wearing jean and leather fabrics it’s still a common sight to see riders without this basic protective clothing.
Tip #4: Invest in Protective Gear
If wearing proper clothing is the minimum protective gear can take your safety to the next level. There are a wide variety of products from gloves to vests to entire outfits dedicated to making your time on the bike safer.
Tip #5: Never Drink and Ride
This rule is not for car drivers only. If you don’t want to end up in the statistics about those who lost their lives due to drunk driving make it a rule to never get on your bike when you’ve been drinking. Always plan ahead if there’s going to be drinking involved have an alternative to get home. Walk take public transit get a ride use a car-sharing company or take a taxi. Many cities have organizations that will pick you up and drop you off too.
Tip #5: Obey Traffic Rules
Your motorcycle is a vehicle so obey all traffic rules. Stay in your lane avoid any abrupt lane changes use your indicators (and arm signals if necessary) minimize overtaking and abide by speed limits. Motorcycles are hard to see and car drivers often don’t properly check for them – make it easier by being predictable.
Tip #6: Pay Attention to the Weather
Rain makes conditions tougher so make sure you pay attention to the weather forecast before planning a ride. This is especially true for novice riders or when there’s a long trip involved.
Tip #7: Take Extra Caution in the Spring
Cleaning up all the gravel they put on the road in Alberta takes time. Be extra cautious in the spring due to the remnants of the winter especially on the city streets.
Tip #8: Have Good Insurance
Motorcycle Insurance is absolutely critical just as it is for a car so make sure you have it and it is valid at all times. When deciding on insurance keep the following in mind:
- The type of bike affects your premiums. Cruisers scoots and conventional bikes cost less to insure than sports bike or those that are optimized for speed acceleration and cornering. The general rule is that the lower the engine power the lower the cost.
- Mileage caps are found on some (but not all) policies. Keep in mind how often and how far you ride your motorcycle in a season. Generally the more your ride the higher the premium will be.
- You may think you’re saving money by only insuring your bike in the summer but in many cases a yearly policy costs less . Most insurers will offer the option to pay upfront or on a monthly basis as well.
- Being an experienced and safe rider saves you money. The longer you’ve had your license (and been insured) the lower your premium will be. You can also get discounts if you haven’t had any claims.
You can learn more about insuring a motorcycle in Alberta here. You can also contact us to discuss motorcycle insurance with a broker. Motorcycles are great fun and nothing beats a long scenic ride on a summer day. We hope you’re staying safe out there!