Buying your first motorcycle can be an exciting prospect, but there are mistakes new riders make that can put them in danger of a motorcycle accident. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, an organization that helps improve the skillset of riders, has a list of beginner tips that can help improve the safety of novice riders.
- Beginners should remember that practice makes perfect, and starting out on traffic-ridden roads could expose new riders to hazards they lack experience dealing with. Intersections are a danger to any motorcyclist, but they are especially dangerous to riders with no experience driving around unpredictable passenger vehicles.
- Focusing on your surroundings is important no matter what type of vehicle you are operating, but it can mean life and death for a novice motorcyclist. Paying attention to how vehicles in your vicinity are moving, turning, stopping and speeding up can help you develop a mental picture of how you need to maneuver. Remember, there are many distracted drivers on the road.
- Avoid situations that require an advanced riding skillset – such as having a passenger ride on the backseat. The handling dynamics of motorcycles are different with extra weight added by another passenger.
- Assume that no other motorist can see you and ride accordingly. Expect to be cut off and prepare to have your right-of-way violated. It is better to be patient and cautious than to end up in a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycles can be a lot of fun, but riding them safely takes a strong sense of commitment to practice and safety. Motorcycle accidents can cause permanent disability or death when they happen, so it is important to remember that safety must remain a top priority.
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Did You Know? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, older riders were more likely to experience a motorcycle accident. In 2012, 56 percent of motorcyclists killed in accidents were older than 40.