By Samuetta Hill Drew
Spring has sprung! You can hear the many daily sounds of spring. One such sound is the roar of motorcycle engines. You can see sightings of motorcycle bikers club riders hitting the open road.
The song by Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild” (Easy Rider) with its lyrics “Get your motor runnin’, head out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure… . Born to be Wild” became the biker’s anthem for many years. Yes, those who ride motorcycles/ bikes say it is a very exhilarating experience.
However, this experience must begin and end with safety first, since this exhilarating adventure can be very dangerous. The United States Department of Transportation crash report in 2016 stated that motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a traffic accident versus people in cars and other vehicles. Thirty-seven percent of motorcyclists killed during this period by a single car accident were alcohol impaired. With these types of statistics, safety must be a priority.
Operating a motorcycle requires a different type of skill set than driving a regular vehicle like a car or truck. Therefore, the first recommendation for all new motorcyclists is to take a safety course. It educates the rider on traffic laws and appropriate actions to take in various unpredictable riding situations. It is not a bad idea for veteran riders to hone their skills with refresher safety classes periodically.
Always check the weather before heading out on the road. Certain weather conditions such as rain, ice and snow could compromise your riding experience. Note: Motorcyclists riding in these types of weather conditions have lower visibility and less traction than a car.
Another safety measure for riders is wearing the proper safety riding gear. Wearing a helmet is not merely a good common-sense idea, it is the law now in many states. A helmet is the best protective gear a biker can wear when riding. A motorcyclist involved in an accident helmetless is three times more likely to suffer from a brain injury.
Wearing a helmet by motorcyclists will not only protect you from possible head injuries, but assists with other important riding features as well. The helmet cuts down on wind noise and wind blast on your face and eyes. It also deflects bugs and other types of debris that flies through the air. When weather conditions change while riding it helps protect you from those changes and reduce rider fatigue.
Riders who wear helmets demonstrate they understand the importance of Keeping an Eye on Safety by being responsible riders.
Next week’s article will explore how to choose the best helmet and highlight other safety measures motorcyclists should address while riding the open road during these beautiful spring days.