Normal precautions are always important when riding a motorcycle. These include following the rules of the road, and always wearing a helmet. Though they give you an added sense of freedom, most motorcyclists know that motorcycles also come with the added responsibility of being extra cautious. We have all probably seen motorcyclists weaving in and out of traffic, taking risks and breaking the law, but most motorcyclists take their safety very seriously and would never do this.
Yet many motorcycle accidents still occur. There are additional precautions that motorcyclists can take, ones that go beyond helmets and being observant and following the law. Education is an important part of being a responsible motorcyclist and an important part of being a responsible passenger on a bike.
There are many options for educating yourself about safe bike riding and how to minimize the chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident by being prepared and knowing how to handle yourself if something were to go wrong. There are different options depending on what area of Missouri you live in. The Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program offers rider education classes for all different types of skill levels in many different locations.
Even if you think you do not have enough time to devote to a class, there are online resources that you can familiarize yourself with. There are plenty of tips for drivers who are just starting out and for experienced bikers.
Many motorcyclists do not realize the importance of educating their passengers, but it is crucial. Passengers need to be informed and trained in how the bike operates and what to expect, especially if they have never been on a bike before. This is crucial because the weight of the passenger, as well as their positioning and their reactions can impact the way that the bike handles, and can affect the driver. Being on the back of a bike can be thrilling, but it can also be frightening for someone inexperienced. There are classes that passengers who plan to ride often can take or online resources to review.
Planning a trip is especially important when you are riding a motorcycle. Drivers in passenger vehicles almost all have access to GPS. And while some motorcyclists do as well, anything that distracts your attention away from the road while you are on your bike can be very dangerous. You should have a plan ahead of time of where you are going and how you will get there, as well as possible alternate route. Knowing these things ahead of time will make you less likely to be in a position where you are needing to make a last minute decision that could lead to an accident. For long trips, make sure to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings is important. Getting distracted even for one moment can have disastrous effects and can put other drivers at risk as well. Stay aware of what other vehicles are in front of you and behind you. Pay attention to any traffic ahead, weather conditions, and think about where you would pull over if you needed to. Additionally make sure to keep a safe distance between your bike and other drivers, since many accidents are caused by inattentive drivers who claim they never saw the motorcycle.