Motorcycling is a fantastic way to explore the world around you. It involves all of your senses and allows you to actively participate in navigating curves. However, with this freedom comes responsibility, since riding a motorcycle requires more coordination and alertness than other modes of transportation.
According to recent traffic safety statistics, 5,014 motorists were killed in the United States in 2019, accounting for 14% of all road deaths, while an estimated 84,000 were wounded. This implies that a major proportion of cases handled by Philadelphia injury lawyers are motorcycle-related. So are you wondering how to drive safely with a motorcycle? Here are seven best practices for riding a motorbike in Philadelphia.
- Ensure that you are licensed
Driving a vehicle and riding a motorbike need distinct abilities and knowledge. Although motorcycle-licensing requirements vary by state, all states need a motorcycle licence endorsement to augment a car driver’s licence and prove a minimum riding competence and knowledge level.
While passing the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) is not a requirement to get a licence if you’re over 18, you can still take it to ensure that you are conversant with motorcycle rules.
To get the necessary endorsement in Philadelphia, you must first fill out a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit Application (Form DL-5) and pay a $10 charge. Following that, you will be subjected to a vision screening and a motorcycle knowledge exam, both of which you must pass to receive a motorcycle (Class M) learner’s permit while your application gets processed.
- Conduct checks before every ride.
Before you ride, ensure that you conduct a check on things like your motorcycle’s tread depth, tire pressure, brakes, signal indicators, and headlights. Also, remember to look beneath the motorbike for evidence of gas or oil leaks.
If riding with a passenger, you should only allow your passenger to mount the motorbike after the engine has started. Also, advise them to sit as far forward and directly behind you with their legs and feet away from the exhaust pipe.
You may also want to remind them to keep their movements to a minimum, move in the same direction as you when leaning, and hang on securely to your waist, belt, or hips. Lastly, your passenger should not get off the motorbike until you indicate it is safe to do so.
- Wear a helmet.
While there’s been an increase in helmet use in the U.S., it is still not surprising to find people who disregard it perhaps because they are confident in their driving skills or do not want to ruin their hairstyles.
Regardless of the reason, motorcycle helmets have been estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to cyclists and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers. Also, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ‘s report, helmets have saved over 25,000 lives since 2002.
So if you’re keen on your safety, wearing a helmet whenever you’re going for a ride is important, even if you’re over 21, as this is the legal age for compulsory helmets. Besides, there are some less dorky-looking and cool helmets that you can always choose from these days, from the DIY-helmets to the foldable ones. Choose one that suits your style so you can be both stylish and protected while riding.
- Ride responsibly and defensively.
If you’re an experienced rider, you’ll know the rules of the road and not take any chances. As a motorcyclist, it is important to observe traffic signals, signs, speed restrictions, and lane markings; ride with the traffic flow and give enough of the gap between your bike and other vehicles.
Bike defensively. Be careful and yield to pedestrians and other cars whenever necessary at junctions. You should also be visible and predictable so that other road users can see you and know what you’re going to do next. This includes utilizing lights at night, signalling, and checking over your shoulder before turning or changing lanes.
Lastly, remember that motorcycles are significantly smaller than automobiles and other vehicles; as a result, they are often overlooked. They are easy to miss and overlook, especially if they are in a blind zone. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you and watch out for both vehicles that are bigger and smaller than yours.
Let Us Assist You With Your Claim.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! Therefore, if you want to be an expert and safe motorist, you must learn to imbibe the above best practices. However, if you have an accident, ensure you consult a motorcycle accident attorney before speaking to anyone or signing any document.
That’s because a motorcycle accident attorney will know how best to ensure you receive your insurance claims and whatever compensation you are entitled to as a result of the accident. With good Philadelphia injury lawyers, you can easily focus on your recovery while the attorneys battle to protect your interests at all costs.