page four: MOTORCYCLE SAFETY PAGE: then go to our home page!


To understand a hazard and to be prudent in responsing to it is the foundation of safety. Mark H. Bayer Ed.D.

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY: Please read and apply these principles to your riding!

 1.  Be prepared to ride both mentally and mechanically.  Your bike should be in good operating condition and you should be alert and safety conscious;  Always be familiar with the bike your riding.  Your tires are especially important, make sure they have the correct pressure and plenty of tread.  Make sure to check tires, gas, lights, and brakes before every ride.

2.  Be aware of everything around you.  Be especially aware of other vehicles, bumps in the road, intersections, curves, and what might be slick spots.  Always assume other drivers don't see you.  Even if you look at them with eye contact, they might not be aware of you. Watch for vehicles changing lanes or not stopping at intersections.  Carefully watch other drivers with vigilance. 

3. Public riding is not a place to do tricks, race, show off, or do risky things.  When taking a passenger, remember your bike will handle differently and their movements might cause you to get off balance;  Always wear a DOT approved helmit and safe clothing (even if the law does not require it).  Injury and especially death's increase dramatically when riders do not wear helmets!  ALWAYS OBEY TRAFFIC RULES, DON'T SPEED, DON'T RACE, DON'T SHOW OFF!  DO NOT DO STUPID OR RISKY THINGS! Public trafficways are not the place to act irresponsibly; one of the best ways to  "be safe" is to "ride safe". 

4.  Stay away from other vehicles as much as possible.  When in tight traffic situations, take extra care, and remember that many motorcycle accidents are "single" vehicle accidents.  You must protect yourself, assume that the other drivers are really bad drivers and always have a safety zone (if you don't, try to make one as soon as you can);

5.  Think ahead, don't rush, stay as far away from danger as possible, riding in or on any vehicle is dangerous, motorcycles just increase the potential for injury!  Riding in groups increases visibility but remember to keep safe distances apart.  Think "safety", drive "safely", and as much as is possible, keep within a "safe" driving zone!  Finally, when riding at night, when raining, or when there are high winds, take extra care because these circumstances add risk.

6. Always be cognizant of the potential danger when riding your motorcycle.  Respect your bike and don't push it's limits.  Understand your own limitations.  Remember, "especially" when on a motorcycle, you can pay the cost of another persons mistake!  As a footnote, I know of more than one cyclist being killed by hitting a deer or tire, so be aware and don't ride faster than you can be safe!+

7. It's better to ride on the right side of the lane rather than the center or left side.  The center often has loose debris and the left lane is often too close to opposing traffic.  The right lane allows an easy way to get off the highway and space to move if there is an object in the road.  Also, slow down around curves and follow the speed limit signs for curves because you often can't see how sharp the turn is.  Remember, in cold weather there can be patches of ice which you cant see.

I strongly recommend taking a "certified" motorcycle riding course.  Take the class again if you have not been riding for several years.  If you are a new rider, be very careful till you feel comfortable (all riders need to always be careful).  Always be aware of the dangers of motorcycling and stay as far away from potential problems as you can.  Remember, having a safe motorcycle, safe riding gear, safe practices, safe mindset, safe roads, and safe weather, will greatly insure a safe riding experience.

Safe driving rules from the UPS "circle of Honor" (drivers who have driven 25 years or more with no accidents):

1.  aim high so you can see what's ahead of you (look down the road),

2.  stay away from other vehicles so hazards can be negotiated (get the big picture),

3.  continue to look around so you know what's going on around you (actively observe what's going on around you);

4.  always have an escape route (leave room and space for safety),

5.  let people know you are there (be visible and look to see how they turn, stop, change lanes, and move about).

The vast majority of accidents happen quickly and without warning! The rider must be prepared at all times.

Pictured below is an event from the VJMC Regional show in 2013.



I would highly recommend that every motorcyclist attend a licensed "motorcycle safety class."  You may think of yourself as a seasoned rider but you need to continue learning.   Please consider taking a riding course this year, then next year as well.  If you are a new rider, this is an essential part of becomming a safe rider!  It would be well worth your time and money.  Please find a class and sign up at the first of every riding year.

Mark's golden rule for motorcycle safety: Watch other drivers like a hawk and as much as is possible, stay away from other vehicles!

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