The wind in your hair. The open road. A sense of freedom that leaves the grind of everyday life behind in the dust. This is how many enthusiasts describe the experience of riding a motorcycle.

The flip-side of this beautiful picture is that motorcycles are dangerous. It’s seemingly the first thing someone says when the subject comes up, but it’s true. In fact, motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles. They’re smaller than cars and trucks, and riders are exposed.

But if you’re born to ride or considering starting to, then remember these tips we want to share with you about how to stay safe. You can read them here in our blog or click here to download our infographic!

1. Get educated. Riding a motorcycle involves very different skills than driving a car. That’s why many states require a separate driver’s license for a motorcycle. Florida has very specific requirements to obtain either a motorcycle endorsement printed on a Class E driver’s license or a motorcycle-only license. Don’t forget, in addition to the requirements, additional classes and trainings would go a long way toward boosting riding capabilities.

2. Practice, practice, practice! There’s no substitute for experience, and experience comes with practice. Get to know the ins-and-outs of your motorcycle before putting yourself in stressful traffic situations. Start learning in your neighborhood or on remote roads. You can also learn more about rider safety from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ The Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP) which uses curriculum developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).

3. Invest in a pre-ride inspection. If a flight-check works for a $350 million passenger jet, it’s good enough for a motorcycle. Come up with a routine. Check the tires, brakes, headlights, indicator lights and fluid levels before jumping on and taking off. It doesn’t take long, and the benefits are priceless.

4. Wear protection. Motorcycle riders are vulnerable. It doesn’t take much for a car or truck – or pothole, puddle or road debris – to cause an accident. Accident injuries are bad enough, but motorcycle injuries can be much worse, and are more often fatal.

Accordingly, the number one piece of safety equipment a motorcyclist can wear is a helmet. Always wear a helmet. Many come with official Department of Transportation logos marking high quality. Don’t leave it behind even for a short trip. It’s not worth the risk. Covering your arms and legs with heavy denim or leather is also recommended, as are boots and jackets with reflective items or material.

5. Always ride responsibly. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Follow basic traffic rules and leave extra space for yourself between other vehicles. Even if you’re doing everything right, it doesn’t mean other people are.

When it comes to using your motorcycle, stay smart, be vigilant and ride defensively. Remember that you may be hard to spot, especially under road conditions that other than favorable. Do you have questions on this or any other issue? We are your local law firm, do not wait to contact us.