Riding a motorcycle is completely different than driving a car, so it’s unsurprising that New York requires different licensing for motorcyclists. You will need to attend a course, take a test and maintain your new license to legally drive a motorcycle.
However, the longer it has been since you got your motorcycle license, the more you may have forgotten about road safety. It’s also possible that the course you took focused more on legal concerns than practical safety issues.
In either case, a safety refresher is never a bad idea for motorcycle enthusiasts. Following the three rules below will help you stay safer when out for a ride.
Make yourself and your motorcycle noticeable
Perhaps the single most common excuse that drivers give after they hit a motorcyclist is that they somehow didn’t see the motorcycle. You can take numerous steps depending on your riding style and personal aesthetic to make your bike more noticeable to other people in traffic.
From adding bright colors to your wardrobe to making your bike a little bit louder, there are ways to draw the attention of potentially distracted drivers near you in traffic.
Make sure that you drive defensively
You know that you can control your bike because you have practice with it. You don’t know what the person in the lane next to you is going to do when you approach an intersection.
Defensive driving involves keeping careful awareness of the road around you and proactively limiting your personal risks. If you notice someone with a phone up against their ear in the lane next to you, you might want to slow down, speed up or turn off onto another road so that they don’t hit you.
Never bypass your motorcycle and gear safety check
Every time you go out for a ride, you should inspect your bike and your critical safety gear before you leave the house. Unlike someone in an enclosed motor vehicle, you won’t necessarily be able to adjust on the fly if one of your vehicle’s systems fails out on the road. More importantly, your bike will do very little to shield you from the physical trauma that could result from a mechanical failure.
Keeping safety your top focus can help you significantly reduce your risk of getting into a motorcycle crash while out for a ride.