Riding a motorcycle is a fun way to commute that allows you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors. Each year, however, thousands of people are injured while riding a motorcycle. To help curb these numbers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declared May Motorcycle Awareness Month. Throughout the month of May, the NHTSA is encouraging riders to familiarize themselves with some safety tips to lower their risk of motorcycle-related injury.
Wear a Helmet
Most motorcycle-related fatalities involve a head injury, which you can typically protect against by wearing a helmet. Here's the thing: Not all states require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. On the contrary, fewer than half of all states in the United States have a mandatory helmet law. Whether it's required by your state or not, though, you should wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle to lower your risk of serious, potentially fatal, injury.
Wear Eye Protection
Along with a helmet, you should wear eye protection when riding a motorcycle. Eye injuries, while not as common as head injuries, can still occur when riding a motorcycle. Furthermore, without eye protection, you get dust, dirt, bugs or debris in your eyes, which will obstruct your vision while increasing your risk of a collision. You can stay safe when riding a motorcycle by investing in eye protection.
Get Your Motorcycle License
A driver's license isn't a substitute for a motorcycle license. On its Motorcycle Awareness Month web portal, the NHTSA explains that all states require motorcycle riders to obtain a motorcycle license. If you haven't obtained your motorcycle license yet, you'll need to do so. Not only will it keep you legal, but it will help you develop the skills and knowledge needed to safely ride.
Inspect Motorcycle Before Riding
Before getting on your motorcycle and going for a ride, you should perform a basic inspection. Among other things, check the air pressure in your motorcycle's tires to ensure the tires are properly inflated. You should also check the headlights, brake lights and turning signals. It only takes a minute to perform a basic inspection, but doing so will lower your risk of injury when riding.
Cover Your Body
It's a good idea to cover your body when riding a motorcycle. If you wear a short-sleeve shirt, for instance, your arms will be exposed. Therefore, getting into an accident could result in "road rash" on your arms. By covering your body, however, you'll be better protected against injury.