The Motorcycle Safety Foundation states that with operation of a motorcycle, as with any other motor vehicle, is a task that involves visual and perceptual functions, cognitive and attention capabilities and motor skills responses. A rider must be vigilant for potential crash factors, evaluate the level of risk and execute a smooth, controlled response in avoiding emergencies.
They recommend the following tips to avoid accidents and injury:
- Keep a greater following distance, perhaps three seconds or more. Some authorities recommend up to a six-second interval.
- Avoid complicated and congested roads and intersections. A good choice is to pick a route that contains less complicated roadways with less traffic flow and fewer turns.
- Allow larger gaps when moving into a stream of traffic. Selecting a safe gap when passing another vehicle or crossing or turning at an intersection is an important decision for smoothly blending with others.
- Make a point to check side to side at intersections. As we age, eye and muscle movement (head and neck muscles in particular) become more difficult with age. Riders should take an extra moment to double-check traffic to get a good look.
- Remember to keep checking your “blind spots” will reduce risk.
- Have passengers help in identifying potential hazards.
- Keep windshield, helmet face shield and eyeglass lenses clean.
- Avoid tinted lenses at night- it makes seeing well more difficult.
- Wear sunglasses when glare is a problem.
- Keep your headlights clean and properly adjusted.
- Choose a motorcycle that fits well and doesn’t cause muscles to strain because of unusual seating position or because the controls are difficult to operate. How a motorcycle fits its rider may affect overall handling and performance at both low speeds and at higher speeds.
- Follow manufacturer recommendations in the owner’s manual. Good maintenance will keep your motorcycle operating like new.
- Wear protective gear.
- Do not operate your motorcycle if you have been drinking or have taken other impairing substances. Over the counter and prescription medications can cause impairment.
- Have annual eye checkups.
- Follow an exercise regimen to enhance flexibility, strength and endurance. Fitness is important at any age. Maintain good muscle tone and flexibility to improve enjoyment of motorcycling.