Going on a road trip with your motorcycle is one of the best things you can do. It’s just you and the open road for a few days, enjoying the sights the country has to offer. One thing that would ruin your road trip though is if you got into some kind of accident. To help keep this from happening, and stay safe while you’re traveling, here are some tips you can use.
Perform Bike Maintenance
Before you get on the road, it’s a good idea to perform bike maintenance. You can do this yourself or take your bike to a trusted mechanic. You’ll want to make sure that your bike has all the fluids it needs, that the tires are not too worn down, that your brakes are working properly, and that all your lights turn on. The worst time to find out there’s an issue with your bike is when you get caught in a rainstorm at night in an unfamiliar place, so have your bike checked out before you go.
Get a Good Helmet
A good helmet is always recommended before you go anywhere on your bike. While you may live in a state that doesn’t require a helmet, you could end up traveling into one that does. Regardless of the law, however, you should always wear a helmet. You never know what will happen on the road and most things are out of your control. Wearing a helmet could save your life in the event of a bad accident, so make sure you have one that is in good shape and that’s it is fastened tightly to your head before you get on the road.
Study the Route
It can be fun to not have a destination in mind and to simply go where the road takes you, but this can also be dangerous. If you don’t know what the route in front of you looks like, you could end up driving on some dangerous roads or end up lost in an unfamiliar place. A better plan is to study your route before you go. See where you’ll be on the highway, where you might have to quickly merge into traffic and get off an exit, or where you might be driving for a while without a gas station nearby. The more you know about your route before you go, the safer you will be while traveling.
Check the Weather
One of the things you can’t control during your road trip is the weather. However, you can at least check the weather forecast for your route and plan accordingly. For instance, if you see there is a big snowstorm expected along your trip, you could postpone things by a day or two, or try to get there earlier. Driving in bad weather always carries some risk, but this is especially true if you’re on a motorcycle. Riding your bike during rain or snow is not only unsafe, but it’s uncomfortable too. So check the weather before you go and make adjustments where possible.
Have Emergency Contact Information Handy
In the event of any kind of accident, it’s a good idea to have emergency contact information handy. This means a number for roadside assistance, for your doctor, and for an emergency contact, like a spouse or parent. It’s a good idea to not only have these numbers stored on your phone but written down and stored somewhere safe, should something happen to your phone. Keep the number for your emergency contact stored in your wallet, so that if there’s an accident and medical professionals need to contact someone, they’ll know who to call. Another great place to store it is on your phone’s lock screen.
Don’t Take Chances
Finally, you should avoid taking risks when you’re out on the road. If it’s starting to get late, find a place to spend the night rather than continuing to drive while you’re tired. Or maybe you’re in a hurry to get to your hotel, so you start to go well above the speed limit, putting yourself at a higher risk of an accident. When you’re out on your own, it’s important that you don’t take risks. According to these San Francisco motorcycle accident lawyers, “motorcyclists are at least four times more at risk for fatalities compared to their covered vehicle counterparts (cars, trucks, SUVs, etc.)”. So, play it safe while you’re on the road and make it back home in one piece.
Make the Most of Your Road Trip
By keeping the simple tips above in mind, you can give yourself a better chance of having a successful road trip. No one wants to find themselves stranded on the side of the road, or worse, in an accident. So, take some precautions before you go and play it safe while you’re on the road. When you get back home after a fun trip without incident, you’ll be glad you did.