Whether you enjoy taking your bike on short trips, long trips or it’s your primary mode of transportation, staying on top of motorcycle safety is essential. We bust common motorcycle myths and answer your top questions on motorcycle safety and to ensure you are minimizing your risk.
1. It’s Been a While: Do I Need a Safety Course?
FACT: Maybe you rode in your younger years, and now’s the time to hop back on a bike. A motorcycle safety course is the perfect refresher so you can better identify and react to risks on the road. Bonus: You might even receive a discount on your insurance!
2. Do Motorcycle Helmets Impair Sight?
FACT: Federal safety standards mandate helmets provide a 210-degree field of vision, preventing your peripheral vision from being obstructed.
3. Do Helmets Make a Difference in a Crash?
FACT: Helmets are proven to be effective in protecting motorcycle crash injury victims from mild to severe head injuries. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates motorcycle helmets reduced the risk of death by 37% and have saved approximately 1,859 lives.
4. Can Drivers Always See Motorcycles?
FACT: One of the most important motorcycle safety tips for both new and advanced riders? Drive defensively. One of the dangers of riding motorcycles is that they are less visible than cars, which means it’s essential to make every effort to be as visible as possible to other drivers. To make yourself more seen, avoid riding in other drivers’ blind spots or too closely to other vehicles. It is also advisable to wear bright colors and position yourself on the road to reduce the likelihood you are hidden behind anything.
5. Are City Streets Safer Than Highways?
FACT: According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 12% of motorcyclist deaths in 2019 were on interstates and freeways. On non-interstate major roads, 54% of motorcycle deaths occurred, while 34% occurred on minor roads.
6. Does Protective Gear Help on Regular Rides?
FACT: It’s true, wearing motorcycle-specific gear such as a leather or Kevlar jacket, pants, gloves, boots, a helmet and goggles can mitigate the effects of a crash. But motorcycle gear can also help protect you from less-than-ideal weather conditions. When you head out for a ride, leave your shorts, T-shirt and sandals at home and replace them with more protective riding apparel.
7. Are Antilock Brakes a Necessity?
FACT: IIHS reports motorcycles with antilock brakes (ABS) were 31% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than motorcycles without ABS brakes.
8. Am I Safer Riding with Other Motorcycles?
FACT: Many motorcyclists feel safer riding with others because a group is more visible than a single rider. But remember: You’re only as safe as the most reckless rider. Avoid groups where anyone has been drinking, cruise in a staggered formation and always follow proper riding etiquette.
Ready to Ride
Talk to your Farm Bureau agent to be sure your motorcycle insurance offers the right amount of protection. And if you bundle your motorcycle coverage with your auto and/or home insurance, you could save time and money. Be sure to ask your Farm Bureau agent about our Farm Bureau Member’s Choice policy.