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Motorcycle safety tips to help you ride right

As springtime approaches, and if you have a motorcycle, you’re probably gearing up to take your bike out for a cruise down the boulevard through Highland, Schererville, Crown Point or various parts of the Region.  Maybe you’re going to visit some friends, go out for dinner or just heading out to feel the wind in your hair.  We here at Brown Insurance Group want everyone to reach their destination in one piece.  Whether you’re an experienced rider or just getting started, reviewing safety tips will help you have an enjoyable, and most importantly, safe journey.

QUICK TIPS:  General Guidelines for Riding A Motorcycle Safely

Be visible: 

  • Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time. 
  • Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.
  • Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.
  • Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks have.
  • Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
  • If a motorist doesn’t see you, don’t be afraid to use your horn.

Dress for safety:

  • Wear a quality helmet and eye protection.
  • Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet.
  • Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing.
  • Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
  • Remember – the only thing between you and the road is your protective gear.

Apply effective mental strategies:

  • Constantly search the road for changing conditions. Use MSF’s Search, Evaluate, Execute strategy (SEE) to increase time and space safety margins.
  • Give yourself space and time to respond to other motorists’ actions.
  • Give other motorists time and space to respond to you.
  • Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.
  • Watch for turning vehicles.
  • Signal your next move in advance.
  • Avoid weaving between lanes.
  • Pretend you’re invisible, and ride extra defensively.
  • Don't ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Know and follow the rules of the road, and stick to the speed limit.

Know your bike and how to use it:

  • Get formal training and take refresher courses.
  • Call 800.446.9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org to locate the Motorcycle Safety Foundation hands-on RiderCourse nearest you.
  • Practice. Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic. Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.

Remember: Give yourself space. People driving cars often just don’t see motorcycles. Even when drivers do see you, chances are they’ve never been on a motorcycle and can’t properly judge your speed.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (http://www.msf-usa.org) is a great resource to learn more about safety gear and motorcycling in general, as is the American Motorcyclist Association (www.americanmotorcyclist.com). We’re here to help, too! If you have questions about insurance coverage for your bike, or want more safety resources, give us a call at (219) 972-6060.

Enjoy your passion!