Many people credit motorcycles for a better quality of life, but with easy riding comes the possibility that a motorcycle accident could very well kill you. This makes motorcycle safety extremely important for every rider.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) believes this too, and the MSF website has some quick tips to determine if you should ride a motorcycle or not.
Checklist for the potential motorcyclist to consider before riding.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation says that riding isn’t for everyone, so here are ten ways to figure out if motorcycling is right for you.
1. Do you take a lot of risks? Contrary to what you see on television, motorcycles are not meant for thrill-seekers. While motorcycle helmets and body armor play a role in that, safe decisions need to be made at every turn and every intersection by motorcyclists. If you tend to drive your car aggressively — speeding, tailgating, talking on a phone while driving, changing lanes without signaling or any other reckless driving behaviors — maybe you should stick to four wheels and added crash-protection.
2. Can you ride a bicycle? This a prerequisite for the basic MSF riding course. Bicycling — like motorcycle riding — requires coordination and balance. Plus if you are unable to ride a bike, how do you expect to ride a motorcycle that can reach high speeds in just seconds?
3. Can you operate a manual transmission? Almost all motorcycles have a manual transmission, so it is extremely helpful if you have experience with a stick shift. If you’ve never learned a stick shift, the MSF recommends trying out motorized scooters.
4. Do you have good vision? Other drivers on the road will not see you as well as you can see them. Therefore, it helps to have good vision when riding a motorcycle. Get an eye examination if you are unsure about your vision before beginning a riding course.
5. Are you mechanically inclined? Even though modern motorcycles are reliable machines, their engines are exposed and you may need to be able to make a mechanical adjustment from time to time. If you can read and understand the owner’s manual, you should be OK. If not, maybe motorcycling isn’t for you.
6. Are you a safety-first person? If you are injury-prone or take unnecessary risks (see #1), maybe riding a motorcycle isn’t for you. According to MSF, “Millions of motorcyclists ride millions of miles without incident, and they likely take safety seriously.” Our motorcycle accident lawyers agree.
7. Do you respect dangerous machinery? Do you properly maintain your household appliances or power tools and wear the proper safety equipment when operating them? If you aren’t serious about safety with everyday items, what makes you think you’ll take motorcycle safety seriously?
8. Do you get distracted easily? Distracted driving is the top cause of car accidents in the U.S. today, so if you want to avoid a motorcycle accident, the best thing you can do is pay constant attention to the road. The MSF says that should you find yourself overusing your brakes in your car, your driver awareness might not be adequate enough to safely operate a motorcycle.
9. Can you safely maneuver your car in the event of an emergency? Even though you may not ever need to brake hard or swerve to avoid a crash, it is important to have the capability to do so. Motorcycles are harder to see than cars, so these skills are extra important on two wheels.
10. Are you willing to invest time and money into learning how to properly ride a motorcycle? Doctors don’t go straight from their college graduation to the operating room. They must pass years of medical school classes to earn that right. Operating a motorcycle is no different, although you need not take years of courses. Many towns have motorcycle riding courses, so there’s no excuses for not giving one a try. Who knows, it could save your life.
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to a settlement. Call 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE Consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer or click here to submit your case for a FREE Online Review.
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Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines