With the arrival of motorcycle season, plenty of bikers are heading out on New York roads and highways, eager to catch the wind, freedom and pleasures. As seasoned bikers know, though, safety always takes priority.
You want a safe ride, but that cannot always be assured due to the mistakes of drivers who share the road with you. Crashes continue to occur at intersections, highways and streets with the motorcyclists and their passengers suffering the worst outcomes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 motorcyclists died and an estimated 84,000 sustained injuries in crashes in the U.S. in 2019.
Wear protective gear, take things easy at first
With the beginning of motorcycle season, please review this important safety checklist:
- Your bike needs a check-up: Before a bike hits the road with you, it needs immediate attention because it has been in storage for several months. Tires, wheels, fluids, controls and the battery are among the things to check.
- Update your insurance policy: You likely suspended coverages such as liability, collision and towing while your bike was in storage. Once motorcycle season starts, reinstate full coverage.
- Wear protective gear: Start with sturdy shoes and boots that cover the ankles and good gloves. Make sure to wear clothing made from leather or heavy denim. New York also requires drivers and passengers to wear a motorcycle helmet and eye protection. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 136 people died in motorcycle crashes in New York in 2019. Of those fatalities, 11 victims did not wear helmets.
- Take things easy on your initial rides: Not only does your bike need to get into riding shape, but so do you. Get a feel for your bike and take the first few rides on neighborhood streets. You may recognize something is not right with your bike.
- Be aware of any road problems: Roads likely sustained damage due to the winter weather. Potholes and large cracks serve as major hazards for bikers. The roads also may still have traces of road salt and sand, which could lead to a road spill as well as damage your bike.
Prepare your bike and yourself for motorcycle season. Doing so may save your life.
Enjoy the season but remain alert to hazards
As long as you focus on safety and remain aware of some of the driver-caused hazards such as turning left in front of your bike, veering into your lane and striking you from the rear, you may limit the chances of getting into a crash. Have a safe and enjoyable motorcycle season.