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Motorcycle Rider Safety Tips — Part One

scooters_2The promise of spring weather undoubtedly will also bring new motorcyclists out on the roads. In light of that, we have a few suggestions for our Atlanta area and Georgia readers who are new to riding or are considering purchasing a bike this spring. When you get out to take a look at bikes you might want to purchase, your dealer should give you some guidance on a good first motorcycle. If you are buying a used bike, consider these tips before purchasing and riding. Here is the first part of a two-part post on what you should consider in getting out to ride for the first time.

Safety Made Simple — Rider Education 

The Georgia Department of Driver Services offers rider education programs under the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program and can make your licensing process go smoothly. Riders under the age of 18 must take this course to get licensed and those over 18 can present proof of completion to avoid taking a road test. Safe riding for new riders should involve training of some kind. In addition to Georgia programs, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers courses that can make your riding experience much more satisfying and can save you some precious dollars in insurance discounts. Another safety measure is to invest in a bike with an antilock braking system. Safe braking can be challenging for new riders. ABS brakes help riders avoid skidding in weather and sudden stops.

Avoid Road Departure Accidents

The rider education programs teach new riders skills that can help avoid road departure accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reported in past years that almost fifty percent of all motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle crashes. Often these crashes involve road departure, in which a rider might take a turn too quickly and leave the road. The danger involved in this can vary depending on the objects on the side of the road. Guard rails, trees or other objects can result in serious injuries to the rider. Road departure accidents are an important consideration for all riders who want to ride safely. Learning how to maneuver to avoid such a bike crash is key. There are many locations to learn safe riding techniques. Some simple reminders are that speed can be the culprit in road departure, so handling your speed on particular roads and in road conditions, can help keep you safe.
Ride a Bike that “Fits”

Make sure to buy a bike that is appropriate for your skill level. High performance bikes are very powerful and fast. If you are new to riding, or have not ridden in a while, educate yourself about which bikes are best for new and returning riders. A bike needs to “fit” your body. That means when you are looking to purchase a new or used bike, make sure that when you are sitting on the bike, your feet can easily reach the ground. Your feet should be flat on the ground in a sitting position on the seat. The bike’s controls and handlebars should also be a good fit. Try out the reach for controls and handlebars to ensure that you are comfortable with a particular bike.

In our next post, we will share more tips on safe riding for new riders. Meanwhile, Scholle Law wishes all our readers a safe spring riding season. We have supported the two-wheel community for many years. Please visit us online for more information about our law firm.