There’s nothing like the freedom and exhilaration of riding a motorcycle, but if you are not prepared it can be dangerous. Awareness of your limitations and your surroundings will help ensure a safe, enjoyable experience. Before you swing your leg over the saddle to hit the open road, consider these motorcycle safety tips:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires a license to operate a motorcycle. Details on licensure can be found via the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).
- Before you settle into the saddle, walk around your bike and give it a quick road-ready inspection: Check your tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights, turn signals and fluid levels. Also, be sure to secure any cargo.
- Never ride without a U. S. Department of Transportation approved helmet. In Massachusetts, helmets are required by law, and must meet U.S. DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218. All approved helmets have a DOT sticker on them. Not only will a helmet protect your head in the event of an accident, but a face shield will also protect your eyes and face from wind, rain, insects, dust, and stones thrown up from cars.
- Arms and legs should be covered, preferably with denim, leather, or another heavy duty fabric. It acts as armor in an accident, protects your skin from sunburn, and can also help to maintain body temperature and prevent dehydration.
- Protect your legs and feet from injury by wearing sturdy boots that cover at least the ankle.
- Wear reflective clothing and stay out of other drivers’ blind spots. Most accidents are caused by drivers not being able to see motorcyclists. Read this advice to riders from the RMV.
- Don't drink and ride! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42% of motorcyclists who die in single-vehicle accidents are drunk.
- Obey all traffic laws. This manual created by the RMV provides a comprehensive look at rules, regulations, and safety guidelines for motorcycle riders in Massachusetts.
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