How to Ride Your Motorcycle Safely

Motorcycle Rider Safety

June 15, 2020, is the 29th Annual International Motorcycle & Scooter Ride to Work Day. Sponsored by Ride to Work, Ride to Work Day is intended to raise awareness of the benefits of motorcycle riding and the number of people who ride their motorcycles on a daily basis.

Specifically, Ride to Work encourages motorcycle and scooter owners to ride to work on June 15 in order to demonstrate:

  • “The number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians.”
  • “That motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life.”
  • “That motorcyclists can reduce traffic and parking congestion in large cities.”
  • “That motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation.”
  • “That motorcycling is a social good.”

As a law firm that represents injured motorcycle riders and their families, The Law Offices of Mickey Fine is passionate about motorcycle safety. We know that most accidents are not the fault of the rider.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in or around Bakersfield, Manhattan Beach, or another area of California, call (661) 333-3333 for a free case review. To improve your chances of avoiding an accident on Ride to Work Day or any day you ride your motorcycle, we encourage all riders to follow these basic rules of motorcycle safety each time they ride:

1. Wear All the Gear, All the Time

All the gear, all the time (or ATGATT) is a phrase with which almost all motorcycle riders are familiar. However, in California, riders are only required to wear a DOT-compliant helmet. Many choose to forgo other safety equipment, such as:

  • A riding jacket
  • Riding pants
  • Motorcycle boots
  • Gloves

While buying all of this gear can be expensive, it is well worth the investment. It only takes a couple of extra minutes to suit up each time you ride, and the equipment may just save your life.

2. Ride Within Your Limits

Riding a motorcycle takes practice; safe motorcycle riders will continue to hone their skills for years. When you go riding, it is important to know your limits and remain well within them.

Whether you are riding by yourself or in a group, stay in your comfort zone. Save new skills for an empty parking lot or a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course.

3. Know California’s Motorcycle Laws

As we mentioned above, California law requires motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, but not any other safety gear. In addition to knowing California’s helmet law, it is important for riders to familiarize themselves with California’s other motorcycle laws as well.

For example, did you know:

  • All motorcycles in California must be equipped with right and left rear-view mirrors.
  • All motorcycles in California must have working front and rear turn signals (unless first registered prior to 1973).
  • Motorcycle handlebars may not be more than six inches above the rider’s shoulders.
  • Motorcycle exhausts must comply with California’s Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act.
  • While lane splitting is legal, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has published safety tips for lane splitting that all rides are encouraged to follow.

Obeying the law improves the likelihood that you will enjoy a safe ride. Furthermore, in the event of an accident, you will be able to refute claims by the other driver’s insurance company that you are somehow responsible for your injuries.

4. Observe the Rules of the Road

As a motorcycle rider, you are obligated to follow the rules of the road just like everyone else. This means obeying the speed limit, stopping at red lights and stop signs, merging properly, using your turn signals, and not cutting off others in traffic. The more you can do to protect yourself, the less chance you will have of being deemed partially at fault in the event of a collision.

5. Give Drivers Plenty of Buffer

Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of motorcycles in Bakersfield and Manhattan Beach and despite the obvious risks of colliding with motorcycle riders, many drivers still make poor decisions when it comes to driving in close proximity to motorcycles. When riding in traffic, it is a good idea to maintain plenty of buffer—even if this means slowing down to put space between your motorcycle and a car that just cut you off.

6. Avoid Confrontations on the Road

Road rage is a very real issue on California’s highways. As a motorcyclist, there is often nothing you can do to separate yourself from a driver who is yelling or driving aggressively behind you.

In these types of scenarios, it is important to remain calm and do what you can to avoid getting into a confrontation. Regardless of the circumstances involved, getting into a confrontation with the driver will only put you and others in harm’s way.

7. When in Doubt, Play It Safe

If you see someone driving erratically, give them plenty of room. If you are not sure how fast you can take a turn, take it slow. As a motorcycle rider, you need to do everything you can to protect yourself, and your family will be much happier knowing that you are staying safe every time you ride.

Contact Bakersfield Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Mickey Fine

At The Law Offices of Mickey Fine, we have seen many cases where the victim of a motorcycle accident is unjustly blamed for the collision. Attorney Mickey Fine is proud to help motorcyclists and their families in their time of need.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please call (661) 333-3333 or contact The Law Offices of Mickey Fine today for a free consultation. Our firm serves clients in Bakersfield, Manhattan Beach, and nearby areas of California.