It’s about that time of year again. The temperatures are getting warmer and the bikes are coming out. Just a few reminders to keep our clients safe.
Use your head. Wear a helmet. I know it’s not required by law, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. Yes, helmets are an emotional topic for some riders. But the facts show the risk. Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries, than those with helmets, according to government studies.
Wear the right gear. Jeans, a T-shirt, and sandals are recipes for a painful disaster on a bike. Asphalt will quickly eat through a T-shirt and any exposed skin. For maximum protection, go for a leather or other reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, and over-the-ankle footwear, even in summer. You’ll also want effective eye protection; don’t rely on eyeglasses or a bike’s windscreen. Brightly colored and reflective clothing helps other drivers see you, especially if you ride at night.
Ride defensively. You need to be extra alert, especially in this age of epidemic phone use and texting behind the wheel. Keeping a safe following distance is critical to ensure you have enough stopping distance and so you have time to react to obstacles in the road. Take a motorcycle safety course. It can sharpen your skills and many insurance companies will give you a discount.
Bike maintenance is important. Before each ride, do a quick walk-around to make sure your lights, horn, and directional signals are working properly. Check the chain, belt, or shaft and the brakes. And inspect the tires for wear and make sure they’re set at the proper pressure. When tires are under-inflated, handling becomes difficult, steering gets hard, and the bike doesn’t want to lean.
Obey the rules of the road. Obviously bikes are smaller than cars and can fit into spaces that cars can’t. That doesn’t mean you should ride next to a car in the same lane.Don’t drink and ride. As bad as it is to drink and drive a car, it’s even worse to ride a bike after a few drinks. Not to mention, it’s against the law.
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