Top 9 motorcycle safety tips

They got the bike. Now they can’t wait to hit the open road. 

But before cruising out, it’s important to share a few statistics surrounding these steel stallions and how your clients can best avoid ever becoming one of them.

Motorcycles are statistically considered far more dangerous modes of transportation than cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more than in crashes in any other type of vehicle, with the majority of accidents occurring within five miles of home. 

The good news is that with a little awareness, a rider can greatly reduce their odds of ever being seriously hurt.

Share these nine road tips with your biker clients that will help teach them how to best ride safe—and free! 

1. Ride sober and awake. This may be seem obvious, but in the same way you’re advised to avoid driving a car after a few drinks or when feeling tired, it’s tenfold as important to avoid doing so on a bike where you’re much more vulnerable, and the margin of error is much smaller.

2. Stay hydrated. Hours spent riding in the blaring sun can quickly dehydrate you, causing brain fog and slowing your reaction times, so be sure to have plenty of water handy for those long, hot rides! 

3. Avoid distractions. Listening to music on headphones or talking on the phone might seem like a fun way to pass the time on longer rides, but doing so can prevent you from hearing traffic sounds or seeing an oncoming hazard.

4. Learn exceptional situational awareness. Constantly scan for everything—puddles, potholes, loose gravel, animals, and distracted or aggressive drivers. Bikes don’t have the same luxury as cars when encountering even minor obstacle in the road, and it’s best to avoid these situations all together.

5. Be extra cautious in inclement weather. If you’re going to be riding in the rain, be aware that road conditions will be extra slippery (especially if it hasn’t rained in a while), and your visibility will be reduced. Allow yourself greater braking room than usual, reduce speed, and keep an eye out for any standing water. If the roads are icy or there’s a thunderstorm or high wind advisory, it’s probably best to leave the bike at home. 

6. Invest in safety gear. Choose a motorcycle that comes with antilock brakes. Consumer Reports show that ABS brakes reduce the chances of a fatal crash by 37 percent. Wear only DOT or SNELL-approved helmets at all times, even in states that have repealed mandatory helmet laws, since studies show that bike fatalities have increased by 31 percent in these states. Purchase riding gloves, goggles or glasses, and boots. Additionally, you may want to invest in reflective tape for your bike as well as additional outwear protection for yourself such as a back protector and/or a neck brace to greatly reduce your odds of being seriously injured or killed in the event of an accident. 

7. Drive defensively. This includes the following:

  • Always assume a car can never see you, especially in a world of frequent cell phone use that’s resulted in increasingly distracted drivers.
  • Keep a safe distance alongside and behind vehicles.
  • Give plenty of notice when making turns or passing. Always use your directional, and feel free to accompany it with the corresponding hand motions.
  • Learn good lane positioning, which in most cases means riding near the centerline.
  • Always look for an escape option ahead of time in case a car unexpectedly swerves into your lane or cuts you off. 

 8. Get smart. Further your street smarts by taking a motorcycle safety class, whether it’s for the first time or to brush up on your prior knowledge. Many motorcycle dealerships in most areas offer safety courses several times throughout the year. Arrowhead offers discounts for riders who’ve taken qualified motorcycle safety courses.

Learn more about Arrowhead's Motorcycle Program

9. Protect yourself. Be proactive about ensuring your safety with adequate coverage that will give you peace of mind and protect against any high medical bills or costly bike repairs. All Arrowhead motorcycle policies include Nation Safe Roadside Assistance, providing 24-hour emergency towing and road service. 

“No motorcyclist wants to leave his bike on the side of the road. That’s why we added this roadside service plan in every policy,” said Todd Drake, marketing vice president for Arrowhead Motorcycle. “We want your riders to get back to focusing on what’s important…hitting the open road!”

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