Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with its inherent dangers. You are, after all, sharing the road with other drivers of much larger and heavier vehicles. For this reason, it's important for all drivers to understand their responsibilities when it comes to sharing the road with motorcyclists. Furthermore, it's imperative that all motorcyclists follow some important guidelines when it comes to avoiding potentially deadly accidents.
DO Buy a Bike With Antilock Brakes
Not all motorcycles these days come with antilock brakes as a standard inclusion, so those shopping for a bike should take the time to find one that is equipped with this safety feature. Antilock brakes can make a huge difference in a motorcyclist's ability to come to a sudden stop and avoid an accident. Plus, antilock brakes aren't a very expensive add-on, so the cost is more than worth the added peace of mind.
DON'T Ride Without Checking the Weather
One of the biggest mistakes motorcyclists make (especially new riders) is that of failing to check the weather before they head out. Unfortunately, blue skies one minute could quickly turn into a heavy downpour the next, and one of the most dangerous places a motorcyclist can be is on-the-road during such a storm. During heavy rains, visibility is heavily reduced (which can make bikers even more difficult for other drivers to see) and stopping distance is compromised, so always check the weather and look at the radar before heading out--even on a short ride.
DO Drive Defensively...Always
Defensive driving is a cornerstone of motorcycle safety. Essentially, defensive driving refers to a technique where you always assume the worst of other drivers. For example, when you're looking to merge into another lane, you should assume that a driver in that other lane doesn't see you and will not yield to you. By making these assumptions and driving accordingly, you can greatly reduce your chances of being in an accident.
DON'T Overlook Practice Courses
Finally, understand that riding a motorcycle isn't very similar to driving a car--nor is it like riding a bike. It's a unique experience that takes some practice and time to really get used to. Therefore, if you're still not 100% confident on your bike, you might consider enrolling in a practice course or even contacting your local Motorcycle Safety Foundation to find out where you can go to get some practice in near you.
If you are in an accident, contact a motorcycle accident attorney right away.