The United States is currently facing a remarkable uptick in new motorcycle registrations, with 550,000 units sold in 2021 alone, according to MotorCycles Data. This is a 9 percent rise from the numbers made in the previous year. Given that gas prices are still going up, as well as there being an increased push for eased travel restrictions worldwide, this trend is showing no signs of slowing down. With the month of May being National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the American Automobile Association advises motorcyclists new and old to take extra precautions. So if you're planning to join the hundreds of thousands of new motorcyclists soon, here are some vital guidelines you've got to remember.
Educate Yourself on Basic Motorcycle Safety
Basic safety on the road is everybody's responsibility. Motorcycle-related fatalities often soar into the hundreds every year. Hence, the American Automobile Association considers it imperative that motorcyclists educate themselves in the best practices on the road, regardless of their experience level. Since the instatement of the month of May as motorcycle safety month, the AAA has poured much of their resources into their motorcycle safety education campaigns, and have tightened standards on training course accreditation. Novice motorcyclists have been steadily increasing in number since 2021, so things are going to get a lot riskier in places where motorcycle registrations have gone up.
Invest in a Dash Cam
You never know how situations can unfold out on the road. Sometimes, accidents can happen so fast that determining fault can be exceedingly difficult. A very effective assurance against this is a dash cam. Dash cams have become increasingly advanced and available for motorcycles in the past few years, with average prices in 2022 having dropped to 60 percent cheaper than the asking price for the first commercial models. Having clear footage of a road accident will also make it quicker and easier for any attorney for a motorcycle wreck you might hire to resolve whatever dispute might arise. What's more is that some of the more advanced models even act as an ADAS module of sorts, offering life-saving features such as blind spot and collision warnings, dangerous overtake alerts, and even automatic emergency call in the event of a severe accident.
Be Aware of All Obstacles and Risk Factors
The best way to avoid an accident is to avoid accident-prone settings altogether. It's important to note seasonal as well as trend-driven risk factors. The influx of new motorcyclists this year is a trend-driven risk factor, which you should attempt to account for. But you should also plan for seasonal risk factors. For example, this summer, there are going to be more construction zones, teenage drivers, and vacation goers. Vacation-goers are going to be a particularly important consideration if you live near a vacation spot, as more of them are planning to go on 'nearcations' in Summer 2022.
To minimize the risks of getting into an accident, it would help a lot to find out which routes see the most amount of these risk factors, and avoid them as much as possible. Or at least, find out at what times these routes are most congested, and plan your schedule accordingly. Dense traffic and other obstacles tend to be some of the most destructive forces at play on the road for motorcyclists, because of riders' tendency to attempt to weave through. This could easily go awry, which is why many road safety experts strongly advise against doing so.
Despite the many advantages that motorcycles offer, from better agility on the road to superior fuel economy, motorcycle riders are more at risk of severe injury and fatal accidents than the average driver because of how exposed they are. That's why it pays to be extra careful, and to be as informed as you can possibly be before setting off on a brand new bike.