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7 Things You Should Never Do While Riding A Motorcycle

by Robin Smith

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. The feeling of freedom and being close to nature that comes with riding a motorcycle is unmatched. However, motorcycles require a lot more attention and caution than driving a car. There are certain things you should never do while riding a motorcycle, as some actions can significantly increase your chances of getting into a motorcycle accident. Let us discuss 7 things you should avoid when operating your motorcycle.

1. Wearing Inappropriate Riding Gear

One of the biggest mistakes motorcycle riders make is not wearing proper protective gear. The right motorcycle gear like a helmet, riding jacket, pants, gloves, and boots can save your life in a crash. Wearing regular clothes like shorts, flip-flops, or sneakers while riding a motorcycle can result in severe injuries during an accident. Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) certified helmet when riding. Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and death by over 37%. Avoid wearing loose clothing that can get caught in moving parts or blow around while riding. Investing in good quality motorcycle apparel specially designed for impact protection and abrasion resistance is a must.

2. Checking Your Phone

In today’s digital age, it can be tempting to check your phone for notifications when you’re stopped at an intersection. However, this is an extremely dangerous habit for motorcyclists. Taking your eyes off the road and hands off the handlebars, even for a few seconds, can have catastrophic consequences. You may fail to notice the light change or a hazard ahead and be unable to react in time. Never check your phone or text when riding a motorcycle. Find a safe spot to stop first or wait until your destination. Using a phone while operating a motorcycle can lead to distracted riding, which is a common cause of motorcycle accidents.

3. Performing Stunts In Traffic

Some riders may be tempted to show off and perform stunts like wheelies in traffic. This is extremely reckless behavior that dramatically increases the chance of an accident. Engaging in stunts requires taking your eyes off the road and testing the limits of your machine. Surrounding vehicles may not expect you to suddenly pop a wheelie or stop and could strike you from behind. Save stunting for closed courses and keep public roads clear for safe riding. Attempting tricks in traffic is asking for a motorcycle accident.

4. Carrying A Passenger Without Proper Preparation

Carrying a passenger on your motorcycle adds complexity. The additional weight affects braking, accelerating, and turning capabilities. Your passenger also blocks your rear vision and may lean the wrong way in curves. Never carry a passenger without proper preparation. Ensure your motorcycle is designed to handle the extra load. Instruct your passenger on proper posture, holding on, leaning, and keeping their feet on the pegs. Take the time to practice Starting, stopping, and turning with a passenger until the motorcycle feels stable and you can fully concentrate on the road. Unexpected passenger movements can easily lead to motorcycle accidents.

5. Riding Above Your Skill Level

It’s critical to know your limits when riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, many riders do not spend enough time mastering basic motorcycle skills before venturing out on fast highways or tricky mountain switchbacks. Starting on quiet side streets and working your way up as your skills improve is the safest way. Don’t give in to peer pressure to ride beyond your comfort zone. Know how to handle your bike at low and high speeds, emergency brake, and swerve before taking on advanced challenges. Overestimating your abilities is a major contributor to single-vehicle motorcycle accidents. Work on your skills incrementally to avoid finding yourself in a hazardous situation you don’t have the experience to handle. Tips for buying a kids bike

6. Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Motorcycles have more exposed moving parts that need closer maintenance than cars. Things like tire pressure and tread, drive chains, control cables, and lights require regular inspection and servicing. Failure to properly maintain components like brakes or throttle can lead to catastrophic failures while riding. Get to know your bike and perform safety checks before each ride. Schedule regular servicing as recommended in your owner’s manual. Don’t ignore strange noises, vibrations, or difficulty shifting gears – have a mechanic investigate immediately. Well-maintained motorcycles are less likely to be involved in accidents caused by mechanical errors.

7. Riding Under The Influence

Operating any vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs is dangerous. However, the effects of intoxication are magnified on a motorcycle. Balance and coordination are extremely important when riding a motorcycle. Even slightly dulled senses from one drink can cause you to brake, understeer, or be slow to react. Judgment and decision-making also decline with alcohol consumption or marijuana use. Never ride under the influence or with any substance in your system that could alter your mental state. If you plan to drink, make other arrangements to get home safely. Riding intoxicated significantly increases your chances of a serious or even fatal motorcycle accident.

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