The United States has over 55,650,943 miles of paved roads, approximately 88% of the adult population in the United States currently has a drivers license, which is an estimated 193,552,000 people 18 and older, and the annual motorcycle death reached 4,612 in 2011. The annual motorcycle death nearly doubling with 2,320 deaths in 1994.
The numbers are truly stacked against the average cyclist out on the road, which makes the practice of motorcycle safety even more prominent in our day to day lives.
- The first step towards safety would be to become better educated through a motorcycle course. These courses help cover safety basics, as well as more skilled courses for experienced riders.
- Before hitting the road, it is crucial to have the proper safety attire. This includes, but is not limited to: proper foot wear, sturdy outerwear, fingered pair of gloves, and a DOT approved helmet is prominent.
- Perform a ‘preflight inspection’ of the bike prior to hitting the pavement to ensure that everything is properly working, and avoid any mishaps during the excursion. Be sure to check key components such as brakes, tires and lights.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Keep a look out for cyclists and vehicles alike while maintaining a safe distance in an effort to keep both parties safe.
- Observe the posted signs and rules of the road. This includes maintaining a safe speed, obeying street signs, street lights and signals, and be sure to always practice good judgement.
- It is crucial to ride within your ability. Know personal limits, strengths and weaknesses and judge accordingly. Accidents are common when riders push the envelope beyond their skill level.
These few points simply scratch the service when it comes to safety on our roadways. Vehicles and cyclists alike must work together to lower the ever growing number of fatalities on our U.S. roads. For more information, please contact your local DMV and watch this brief video above outlining key points in cyclist safety.