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Motorcycle Safety Tips Every Rider Should Know

Riding a motorcycle is fun and exhilarating, but cruising along on two wheels without the benefit of a car or truck’s body to protect you can also be dangerous. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 6,218 motorcyclists died in accidents on the road in 2022, a number that has been rising in the past few years. Statistics also show that you’re 28 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident on a motorcycle than you are in a car. But that doesn’t mean that you have to park your bike and stick to four wheels to be safe. There are some common-sense measures you can take to protect yourself and ensure that you have a fun ride that ends with your safe return home.

1. Sign Up for a Motorcycle Safety Course

Being safe on a motorcycle starts with understanding how the rules of the road apply to you and what you should do if you suddenly find yourself in a dangerous situation. For example, if a deer jumps out in front of you, the most important thing to do is to hit the brakes. If you have enough space to steer around the deer safely, do so, but make sure not to lose control of your bike or swerve into another hazard.

2. Don’t Take Your Bike Out in Bad Weather

Motorcycles have less rubber meeting the road than cars, meaning that they don’t have as much traction. Even a little bit of rain or snow on the road can make it too slippery for motorcycles. Always take a look at the forecast before you take out your bike.

3. Wear Proper Safety Gear

Always wear a helmet, goggles, and a leather jacket and pants when you ride your motorcycle, as well as a pair of gloves with good grip and boots that come up over your ankles. All of this gear will help to protect you from road rash, debris, and a potentially serious head injury if you get into an accident.

4. Don’t Skip the Safety Check

Before every ride, take a few minutes to look over your bike to make sure that it’s in good shape. This includes basics like checking how much gas you have as well as things like testing the lights, signals, and brakes.

5. Follow the Traffic Laws

Obeying the basic rules of the road is always important, whether you’re riding your motorcycle or driving a car or truck. Things like driving at or below the speed limit and using your signal lights are in the traffic laws for a reason: These rules help keep people safe.

6. Make Yourself Seen

Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and therefore harder to see on the road. As a result, it’s quite common for accidents to happen simply because the other driver didn’t see the motorcycle. To make sure that you’re visible when you ride, stay out of other drivers’ blind spots, always use your signal lights, keep your headlights on at all times, and consider wearing reflective gear.

7. Stay Vigilant on the Road

Defensive driving is key to staying safe no matter what kind of vehicle you’re using. That means always keeping an eye out for potential dangers like sand, gravel, oil, and potholes.

8. Keep Your Distance

Tailgating is never a good idea, whether you’re riding a motorcycle or driving a car or truck. Keep at least four seconds’ worth of distance between your motorcycle and the vehicle you’re following, and always keep an eye out for escape routes you can use if you need to stop suddenly and can’t stop in time to avoid a crash.

9. Bring First Aid Supplies

Always pack basic first aid supplies like bandages and disinfecting wipes when you ride, just in case you need them.

10. Upgrade Your Riding Skills

Consider taking an advanced motorcycle riding course that can teach you techniques for keeping control of your bike in an emergency situation, maneuvers to avoid a collision, and tricks for braking more effectively.

Additional Safety Resources


This page was last updated by Marc Gregory