The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHST) has declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month; in Tampa, both local motorcycle riders and tourists are out in droves, enjoying the early summer weather. However, both motorists and motorcyclists need to be more aware of one another while on the road. In 2015 alone there were 571 motorcycle accidents in Pinellas County, 26 of those accidents were fatal. That's an average of over two fatal motorcycle accidents a month! In order to keep yourself safe while riding around Tampa, here are a few motorcycle safety tips to keep in mind.
Top 4 Motorcycle Riding Safety Tips
- Drive defensively. Always assume that motorists cannot see your motorcycle as you are passing and changing lanes. Wear bright-colored clothes or put reflective strips on your bike, and make sure your motorcycles lights and signals are always working properly, in order to stay as visible to motorists as possible.
- Wear a DOT approved helmet. In Florida, helmets are optional and many motorcyclists in Tampa ride without them. However, head injury is one of the leading causes of death among motorcycle fatalities. Where a helmet that is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation to help prevent head injury.
- Ride sober. Choosing to operate any vehicle while drunk or high is dangerous. Doing so while riding on a motorcycle is even more dangerous due to the need of keeping a motorcycle balanced while operating it.
- Learn to ride properly. Take a Florida DMV motorcycle approved safety course. Learning how to operate a motorcycle appropriately is very important. Safety courses teach riders how to react to dangerous situations on the road. Taking such a course may even reduce the cost of your motorcycle insurance.
Riding a motorcycle around Tampa in the summer can be exhilarating. By following the above tips, you will also increase your ability to stay safe. Remember: Not all motorists know how to react motorcycles or are paying attention to them. It is important for all motorcycle riders to pay attention to everything going on around them at all times.