With spring upon us, motorcycle season has arrived in Ohio. The freedom on the road and the wind blowing in your hair brings big smiles to a motorcyclist just itching to ride after winter. Get your bike out of storage, have a mechanic look at it, and, then hit the road.
Wait. Not so fast. Do not forget the safety aspects and responsibilities a motorcyclist must adhere to. Numerous road hazards exist for motorcyclists, and they include slick roads and distracted drivers. But some of the hazards are self-inflicted. Think alcohol and controlled substances use, which will make you an accident waiting to happen.
Avoid risky drivers and risky behavior
According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, motorcycle fatalities accounted for 144 of the total 1,068 traffic fatalities in 2018. The number represents 13.5 percent of the total traffic deaths in the state.
If you want to avoid any potential life-changing injury or becoming a road fatality, please keep these safety and common-sense tips in mind:
- Get your bike checked by a mechanic to ensure that there are no major problems with it.
- Enroll in a motorcycle safety class. Neophyte and experienced motorcyclists can benefit.
- Be a defensive driver. This can save your life. You must be on the alert for motor vehicle drivers, many of whom do not seem to observe motorcyclists and many whom of are distracted by using smartphones or eating behind the wheel.
- Wear proper protective gear. This would include a helmet to protect you from potential traumatic brain injury. Also, consider wearing heavy denim and leather clothing to protect your arms and legs if in a spill; sturdy boots and shoes covering your ankles; and dependable gloves.
- Wear bright clothing with reflective material. This will make you more visible to other drivers.
- Avoid driving at excessive speeds.
- Be aware of road conditions, whether they are wet, filled with potholes or littered with gravel and debris.
- Avoid alcohol and controlled substances when riding. You want to have your wits about you while on your motorcycle. And you do not want to be road hazard to yourself and other drivers.
Please enjoy riding during motorcycle season in Ohio. But always, always keep safety in mind. When you do, you will enjoy your road trips much more in knowing that you are prepared and responsible.