It’s no secret that being on a motorcycle a very exposed means of transportation when it comes to the risk of danger. Whether you are new to motorcycle riding or have years of experience, being prepared with the right gear could save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there were 4,985 motorcycle fatalities in 2018. Let’s break down all the motorcycle safety gear that can help keep you protected.
Law or Not – Wear a Helmet
Some state laws require that you wear a helmet when driving or riding a motorcycle regardless of your age. Others only require a helmet if you are under 18 or a passenger on a motorcycle. In the very few states where no helmet is required by law, you should wear one anyway! Of all the motorcycle protective gear, a motorcycle helmet is the most important and the most life saving device. If you have an accident on a motorcycle, you’re lacking the safety of a seat belt, airbags or vehicle enclosure to absorb some of the impact; therefore, the helmet plays a crucial role. Without a helmet, you run a much higher risk of severe brain damage or fatality.
In selecting a helmet, there are several different styles to accommodate comfort and temperature needs. Whether you go with a half shell or full-face enclosure, the helmet should be Department of Transportation approved. Look for a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet to confirm the helmet meets DOT standards.
Protective Motorcycle Clothing Gear
We talked about head protection, now let’s talk about the right clothes to wear when on a motorcycle. During those hot summer days, it might be tempting to go for a nice ride wearing the typical summer attire such as shorts and a T-shirt. While that may sound nice, it could be very dangerous if you were in an accident. The term “road rash” doesn’t sound as graphic and painful as it actually is. In some situations, road rash can be so extreme that skin grafting or reconstructive surgery is needed to repair the damage and could leave scaring. Protect your skin with riding pants and jackets made of leather or another sturdy material.
You won’t need much convincing to wear thick pants and jackets in the wintertime, but maybe you’re thinking that summer riding is just too hot for that kind of outfit. Don’t fear, there are many versatile pants and jackets that have great summer ventilation and are made to wear with summer clothes underneath the gear, so you can easily remove the riding gear and be comfortable when you get where you’re going.
Riding Gloves are Not Just for Winter
When it’s cold outside, riding gloves are a must if you do winter riding. Having the right riding gloves can also make a big difference, as they protect your hands from road debris like rocks, protect your hands if you are in an accident and also help buffer vibration in your hands from the handlebars. When the warm weather comes around, don’t pack away your gloves until next winter. Instead, switch them out for some summer gloves that provide the same protection but also have some ventilation. Wearing gloves in the summer is just as important and can help you grip the handles.
Let’s get to the bottom of protective gear by talking about the proper riding footwear. The most commonly known riding advice is that you should always wear closed-toed shoes. While that is great advice, it goes much deeper than that. Steer away from tennis shoes and look for boots or high-top shoes that provide the most protection to your feet and ankles. When selecting riding footwear, here are some features that you should look for to ensure the most safety:
A shoe or boot made of thick material
No laces or a strap that covers laces to avoid a shoelace getting caught up on the gear shifter
The sole of the shoe or boot should have a good grip tread that is oil resistant
Before you go on your next ride, make sure you are protected top to bottom! Protect yourself in case of an accident with the right riding gear and the right motorcycle insurance coverage. We care about your safety. That’s why we are dedicated to providing you with safety tips and helping you find the right coverage!