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Proper Precautions are the Backbone of Motorcycle Safety
The odds are unfortunately stacked against motorcyclists.
We’d like to think we all share the roads together, and in theory we do.
However, the challenges motorcyclists face on the road are vastly different from those driving cars or rigs.
These hazards vary as widely as having no climate control to potentially being sideswiped by the back end of a semi truck.
Motorcycle riding takes a tremendous amount of planning and effort that those riding in contained vehicles will never have to consider.
There’s no way around it, the potential for injury is incredibly high during a motorcycle accident.
A motorcycle injury can vary as widely as some scraped skin to complete paralysis or even death.
That is why here at Arrowhead Clinic Decatur, we want everyone on the road to be as safe as possible and to avoid potentially devastating injury.
That is why we have compiled a brief list of the six best safety practices bikers should follow to stay as safe as possible on the road.
1. Maintain Proper Posture
It is a well known fact that sitting for an extended period of time places a tremendous amount of stress on ones lower back.
However, there are more pressures being added on to ones back while riding a motorcycle besides ones own weight.
Depending on the type of bike, you may be forced to keep your body in a non-neutral position thus adding to the already existing pressure.
Not to mention the conditions of the road itself.
Riding on a smooth highway versus a poorly maintained one can make all the difference on ones back.
When choosing a bike, consider one that allows you to keep your back in a neutral position and allows you to keep proper posture.
This will go a long way in keeping your back healthy and will help you continue to ride your motorcycle in safety for a long time to come.
2. Wear Proper Protective Clothing
Like everyone else, Bikers need to dress for success.
Proper protective gear is essential for safety when operating a motorcycle.
Traditionally, all leather clothing is worn.
Recently, there has been an influx of leather alternatives for motorcycle safety such as textile mesh.
Regardless of textile or leather, these materials will do little to protect a biker from the impact of being hit by a vehicle.
Short of a suit of armor, there aren’t many outfits that will protect a rider from the broadside of a pickup trick.
However, leather and textile clothing will provide decent protection from the harsh asphalt a biker might encounter if he was launched off his ride.
Jackets are seen as practically a necessity for the needs of safe biker.
Jeans are often seen as an acceptable form of leg protection while riding.
However, denim is most effective when paired with another layer of protection.
A secondary layer of textile or leather pants is recommended for superior protection.
There are also denim pants that have other materials sewn into them giving additional support.
Full motorcycle suits are also great forms of protection while riding.
Closed toe shoes are a necessity.
Motorcycle boots are recommended.
These boots are exactly as the name describes, shoes designed to keep ones feet safe while riding.
Generally these boots have laces on the inside to keep from getting caught and are made of very thick leather.
3. Wear a Helmet
Yes, this very easily could have been incorporated under the “Wear Proper Protective Gear” heading.
However, this piece of safety advice is so important it deserves its own heading, pun intended.
As chiropractic care professionals, we understand that the spine is pivotal in maintaining proper communication and health for the whole body.
However, as essential as the spinal cord is, it is only a channel for communication. The information originates in ones brain.
The spinal cord would have no purpose without an adequately functioning brain.
That is why it is so important to wear a helmet.
To put it simply, the role of the helmet is to keep your head and brain safe in the event of impact during a motorcycle accident.
It is leaps and bounds the most important safety precaution one can take when riding a motorcycle.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, helmets are around 37% effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and 67% effective in preventing brain injuries.
These rates are significantly higher than those who did not wear helmets.
The selection of a helmet is very important for ones safety while riding a motorcycle.
There are a variety of styles to choose from ranging from full helmet (covers your full head and face), to 3/4 helmet (covers your head and some of your face), to 1/2 helmet (covers all of your head and none of your face).
For more motorcycle safety statistics, click here!
Those who ride motorcycles sometimes like to think of themselves as real rough and tumble types.
It takes a certain level of nerve and skill to take on the road with such little protection.
As a result of this persona, are gonna try to look cool as they ride.
Wearing all black helmets, jacket and boots is all fine and good on a sunny spring day. However, what happens when its early winter on a cloudy midnight?
It’s important that ones visibility remains high when on the rode.
This can easily be done by maintaining a bikes reflectors and headlights.
Other adaptions can be made as well, such as the strategic placement of reflector tape on ones helmet or jacket.
True, it will keep you from looking exactly like a steel horsed cowboy, but it will also keep you alive.
5. Rules of the Road
Another aspect of the motorcycle that makes it so desirable is the feeling of freedom that accompanies it.
There is nothing between you and the world but two tires and a set of handlebars.
This unbridled potential may prove too tempting for some, and certain liberties may be taken on the road.
The best way to ensure safety while on the road is to follow all proper riding rules.
Before hitting the rode, take the time to learn all the nuances it takes to be an excellent rider.
It sounds tedious, but you never know what information will make the difference between an exciting, yet safe adventure and a visit to the local hospital.
6. Maintaining your ride.
Finally, ensuring your motorcycle is in good working condition is pivotal in maintaining safety out on the rode.
No one makes the conscious decision to go out on a bike that may suddenly experience a mechanical error.
A rider could follow and adhere to every single safety protocol imaginable for motorcycle riding, and still wind up injured or potentially dead due to some random mechanical deficiency.
There is little one can do to combat a sudden equipment failure.
The severity varies depending on what the fault is. It is critical that proper motorcycle care is maintained .
This can easily be attained by regularly taking your bike to the garage or if you have the ability, maintaining it yourself.
A properly running motorcycle, coupled with the aforementioned safety tips, will ultimately lead to the continuation of a properly running you.
These suggestions are far from arbitrary.
Every single one of them on their own can astronomically decrease ones chances of receiving sever injury while riding a motorcycle.
No one ever plans on having an accident, yet they happen every single day.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you ride a motorcycle please execute proper precautions in order to stay safe.
Unfortunately, accidents still occur even after the most careful planning and the best precautions.
Sometimes, it is simply the fault of another driver who was not as careful or responsible as you were.
If you find yourself to be the victim of such an accident, seek medical attention immediately.
Come visit us at Arrowhead Clinic Decatur for an evaluation and to begin your recovery so you can get back to riding as soon as possible.