Many are familiar with the motorcycle safety public service announcements that resurface each year. With the beautiful Michigan summer in full swing, motorcyclists are eager to hit the roads, making these safety reminders especially important. Whether you are in a vehicle or on a motorcycle, taking extra precautions can keep everyone safe on the roads.
For a refresher on safely sharing the roads with motorcyclists this summer, view this article from Michigan.gov. For anyone who prefers a motorcycle to a car this time of year, here are few simple, but important reminders to keep you safe this season.
- Ride defensively: Always be aware of the vehicles in your surrounding area. At stop signs, take caution and never assume the other drivers will stop! Car drivers are often the cause of motorcycle accidents. With distracted driving on the rise, being defensive and aware while on a motorcycle is more important than ever.
- Select the Right Ride: Purchasing a motorcycle that is properly suited for your height and size is essential. When selecting a motorcycle, ensure your feet are easily resting on the ground and the handlebars and controls are within easy reach.
- Make Time for a Tune Up: In addition to tuning up your motorcycle, see if your riding skills are in need of a tune up as well. If your riding skills are a little rusty, sign up to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) riding course. This course covers the basics as well as some advanced riding techniques. As an added bonus, taking this course may qualify you for an insurance discount.
- Dress for Success: Wear clothing that will protect you from wind, flying bugs, debris, and road rash. Avoid clothing items such as shorts, tank tops, and t-shirts.
- Protect Your Head: Riders who do not wear helmets have a much higher risk of fatality. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you are also three times more likely to sustain a head injury if you do not have your helmet on. Helmets save lives; grab yours before hitting the road.
- Protect Your Eyes: If you do not wear a full-face helmet, make sure you have the proper eye protection. You never know what you may encounter on the roads; take this small precaution to ensure your eyes are safe.
- Avoid bad weather: Rain makes the pavement slippery, reduces your margins for error and decreases your overall visibility. Watch for road hazards including potholes, sand, gravel, wet leaves, and grass.
Following these simple, but important, safety tips can make the roads safer for everyone this riding season.
April Toivonen, MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS
Language Pathologist (and avid motorcyclist)
Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center