Riding a motorcycle can be one of the most freeing and exciting experiences a person can enjoy. However, driving a motorcycle on the open road is a huge responsibility for yourself and others on the road. Since motorcycles have less stability and a lower visibility than cars and trucks, that puts the driver at a greater risk of injury or death. The fact that motorcycles frequently have higher performance capabilities doesn't help. In 2015, nearly 5,000 people died in motorcycle crashes. If you are a motorcycle driver, consider making these two New Year's resolutions to stay safe on the road.
Resolution #1: Do a T-CLOCS Inspection of the Motorcycle Before Every Ride.
It's important to do a T-CLOCS inspection of your motorcycle before every ride you take. T-CLOCS is a term created by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to refer to the inspection of the following aspects of a motorcycle:
- Tires – Check the condition and air pressure of the tires. Also, assess the spokes, cast, bearings, seals, and rims of the wheels. Check the function and condition of the brakes.
- Controls – Check the handlebars, cables, hoses, throttle, levers, and pedal.
- Lights and Electronics – Check the vent tube and condition of the battery. Look at the aim and condition of the headlamp as well as mirrors. Assess the condition and operation of the tail lamp. Check the operation of the switches and turn signals. Check the condition of the wiring, lenses, and reflectors.
- Oil and Other Fluids – Check the levels of your engine oil, gear oil, shaft drive, hydraulic fluid, coolant, and fuel. Also, look for leaks in all those areas.
- Chassis – Consider the condition and steering-head bearings of the frame. Look for front forks and rear shocks for the suspension. Check the sprockets, lubrication, and tension.
- Stands – Check the condition and retention of both the side stand and the center stand.
Resolution #2: Wear a High-Quality Helmet Every Time.
Commit to taking this resolution very seriously. Although wearing a helmet may take away a bit of the joy of feeling the wind blow your hair back, it is necessary to wear a high-quality helmet for every ride. It's the law of the land in most states, although many people turn their nose up at this law. The good news is that helmets can be comfortable, and they can mean the difference between life and death if you are involved in an accident. That's true even on small neighborhood streets, so wear the helmet for the entire ride.
Finally, keep in mind that driving a motorcycle can be fraught with challenges. Make sure that your arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible about how you can stay safe whether you are driving in your neighborhood or on the highways. Defensive driving is the best way to handle the power you have on your motorcycle. If you do get in an accident, a motorcycle accident attorney can help.