But there are certain easy things you can do to make riding a motorcycle safer. Here are the top 5 best tips you should start implementing today to save your life on the road:
5) Understand What T-CLOCS Means
You may remember T-CLOCS from motorcycle safety training. Or maybe you've never heard of it before. T-CLOCS stands for:
It's a quick safety inspection you should perform every time you get on your bike. Check the tires for signs of wear and tear. Check the lights to make sure they work and can signal properly. Inspect the chassis, stands, and oil for any signs of potential problems.
4) Wear High Visibility Clothing
Motorcycles account for about 1% of all vehicle traffic on the average road.
Unfortunately, motorcycle riders account for about 10% of all traffic fatalities. Many of this comes from the fact that motorists are more likely to see a large car or truck than a smaller bike - especially around their blind spots.
You can boost your chances of being seen by wearing high visibility clothing. Most motorcycle stores sell high visibility safety vests that feature neon colors and reflective strips. These vests can stand out much better than black leather jackets.
If you want to be even more visible to other motorists on the road, then consider installing a motorcycle headlight modulator. This unique contraption makes your headlight rapidly flash - kind of like a strobe light. Other drivers will easily be able to see you even in direct sunlight.
Sure, you may not look as cool when you're wearing a neon green motorcycle jacket with a flashing strobe light on the front of your bike. But when it comes to life or death situations on the road, safety is always cool.
3) Wear a Helmet
It's amazing in this day and age that safety advocates are still trying to convince people to wear helmets.
Among motorcycle riders, helmet use actually declined by 13% in 2010.
Different states and regions have different helmet safety standards. In the United States, try to purchase a DOT-approved helmet. In Europe, CE Mark-approved helmets conform to the highest safety standards.
Don't become a statistic: no motorcycle riders thinks they're going to be involved in a crash until it's too late. Every year in America, helmets save the lives of about 2,000 motorcycle riders.
2) Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
Most countries require you to take a special motorcycle safety course before hopping on a bike for the first time. This course isn't just a formality: it's a course that can save your life.
In the United Kingdom, these courses are called CBT courses and they're required in order to legally drive a motorcycle or scooter. While UK motorists might begrudgingly attend the course because they have to, they often find they learn valuable lifesaving lessons at their course.
Don't just attend a motorcycle safety course in your area: attend the course and absorb the lessons learned. Driving a motorcycle requires almost completely different training from when you first learned to drive a car.
1) Drive Like You're Invisible
If you and your bike were invisible for a day, how much more difficult would it be to ride your bike?
It actually wouldn't be that much more difficult, because studies have shown that motorcycles often are invisible on the road.
One study showed that drivers don't notice about 1 in every 5 motorcycle riders. That's because when car drivers shoulder check and look around their vehicles, their eyes aren't trained to look for motorcycles: they're trained to look for other cars.
Due to a weird psychological trick in our brains, our eyes can physically see a motorcycle, but that signal never reaches the brain and registers that motorcycle as a hazard.
That's why car drivers change lanes in front of you and almost wipe you off the road. If you ride like you're invisible, then you're going to develop the defensive driving techniques needed to survive driving a motorcycle on city roads.