If you ride a motorcycle, always wear a helmet. Helmets are your best defense against serious and fatal brain injuries. The following tips, offered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may also reduce your chance of injury:
- In addition to your helmet, wear eye and face protection. Many helmets have built-in visors or other face guards. Wear long pants, gloves, boots, and a durable long-sleeved jacket.
- Get licensed. All states require a motorcycle license.
- Never drink alcohol before operating a motorcycle.
- Follow all the rules of the road. Don’t speed 40 percent of motorcyclists who died in crashes were speeding.
- Watch for hazards on the road, such as large cracks, holes, and bumps. Keep an eye out for vehicles coming from driveways and side streets.
- Make sure your headlight is on every time you ride.
- Don’t let anyone ride with you until you are skilled at riding in all kinds of conditions.
- If you’re a new rider, take a motorcycle riders’ course.
When passengers ride with you, they must wear a helmet and protective gear. The tips that follow, gathered from several states’ motorcycle operator’s manuals, may increase the safety of your passengers:
- Insist that passengers sit behind you on the motorcycle.
- Make sure passengers’ feet can reach the footrests. Insist that they keep their feet on the footrests at all times, even when you stop.
- Don’t let passengers get on the motorcycle until after you start it.
- Tell your passengers to lean with you when you turn.
- Insist that passengers hold on to your waist all the time.
- Instruct passengers to keep their legs away from the muffler to avoid burns.
- Ask that passengers limit their movement and talking.