According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Motorcycles make up less than 2% of all registered vehicles . . . but account for over 9% of total traffic fatalities.” Of those involved in fatalities, 36 percent were speeding and the involvement of alcohol was found to be 40% higher for motorcyclists than passenger vehicle drivers. Overall, the total fatalities for motorcyclists have increased by more than 127% since 1997.
These statistics illustrate the severity of the risks involved in operating a motorcycle and why it’s in your best interest, if you choose to ride a motorcycle, to do so safely.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Wear a helmet. Look for DOT, ANSI, OR Snell-approved helmets. If not equipped with a face shield, be sure to wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes against insects, dirt, or other particulates.
Be sure to wear brightly colored or reflective clothing to maximize visibility.
Always ride with the flow of traffic.
Wear only slip-resistant shoes. NO sandals, flip-flops or long shoelaces.
Remember that your body is fully exposed on the roadway always wear protective clothing like long pants and a long-sleeved shirts or jackets. Non-slip gloves provide firm grips.
Obey all speed limits, traffic laws and signals. Never travel faster than conditions allow.
Be well-versed in proper hand signals and signal well before your turn or lane change.
Ride with your headlights on at all times.
Drive defensively by being aware of, slowing for and avoiding road hazards, such debris, bumpy roads and holes in the road’s surface.
Take a motorcycle safety class with your local DMV.
Use extra caution at intersections, parking lot entrances and exits, and driveways.
Learn the correct use of front and rear brakes, as well as proper downshifting as you slow or stop.
Always be conscious of traffic from behind and pass vehicles with extreme care.
Check mirrors and blind spots frequently.
Use caution in the presence of traffic. Watch for buses pulling to and from curbs and passengers disembarking.
Take motorcycle safety seriously by taking responsibility for your safety and the safety of your passengers. Both you and your vehicle should be properly licensed in order to be operated on Minnesota roadways. Check with your local DMV for a complete list of motorcycle safety rules and state laws governing the proper use of motorcycles.