Because motorcycle riding can be extremely dangerous, practicing proper motorcycle safety is imperative for all drivers, regardless of experience.
In fact, in 2016, more than 5,000 motorcyclists were killed while riding, and over the past seven years, motorcyclist fatalities have averaged 4,200 a year. Riding can be dangerous for a multitude of reasons, ranging from drinking and driving, improper safety, and accidents with other vehicles on the road.
It’s important to take steps to make your riding experience as safe as possible to mitigate your risk of injury.
Always wear a helmet
Helmets are the most important piece of safety gear for every motorcyclist. According to 2016 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 2,000 motorcyclist fatalities resulted from injuries that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet. Helmets should always be worn while riding, and many states have laws that mandate the use of a helmet.
Make sure to conduct some research before buying a helmet. Your helmet should be certified by the Department of Transportation or compliant with your nation’s relevant safety standards. In addition, information about the manufacturer name, model, and certification should be included on the helmet.
Because helmets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you’ll need to choose one that best suits your needs as a rider. Full-face helmets offer the highest degree of protection for your face and head, while three-quarter and one-half coverage helmets provide less protection. A helmet should fit snugly on your head and should not be uncomfortably tight or loose enough to move on its own.
Invest in a high-quality jacket
Motorcycle jackets are safer than everyday clothing and provide protection from the environment. If you’re in the market for a motorcycle jacket, prioritize function and fit over design. Motorcycle jackets should fit similar to a helmet: not uncomfortably tight, but not too loose. Make sure to invest in a quality material and to consider the environment you typically ride in before making a final purchase.
If you’re planning to ride on closed racetracks, consider investing in a leather jacket or suit. Casual off-road cyclists should opt for textile materials. Ultimately, the best motorcycle jackets have thicker materials to resist against abrasion, along with pockets that can carry anything you might need to bring along for a ride.
Wear comfortable gloves
From pebbles to bugs, motorcycle gloves protect riders against the environment while driving. Motorcycle gloves also offer an added level of comfort, as well as protection against wind and sun burns. For longer distance rides, the added material of gloves provides a better grip.
Motorcycle gloves come in multiple materials, ranging from leather to textiles. While leather is comfortable and prevents abrasion, the material doesn’t offer resistant against water. Meanwhile, textiles do not provide as much resistance to abrasion, but are both waterproof and water-resistant.
Like jackets and helmets, gloves should not be uncomfortably tight. When choosing a pair of gloves, make sure they don’t constrict your movement in any way. The right pair of gloves should offer enough dexterity to freely operate the controls of your bike. If you’re not sure where to start shopping, most motorcycle gear companies offer gloves in a variety of styles, including gauntlets, sportbike gloves, and cruiser gloves, at affordable prices.
Although there are many options to choose from when it comes to gear, safety should be your top priority. Ultimately, investing in a helmet, motorcycle jacket, and gloves can help mitigate your risk of injury and could even save your life.