You know what to do. You’ve taken the motorcycle safety classes, earned your license and are ready to hit the open road. You know how to use your mirrors, perform safety scans and lean into your turns. But before you jump on that bike, have you thought about what you should not do while riding? Often, it is not failure to do what you should, but doing what you should not that causes an accident.

Don’t Ride in Too High of Gear
Sure, that high gear might make you fly on the open road, but when you are in traffic, drop it down to a lower gear. Why? Because sometimes you need enough power to jump forward in an instant. If that SUV next to you starts to swerve into your lane, braking may not be the best option. If you drive in a lower gear, you can step on the gas and zoom ahead out of danger. As an added bonus, the cars around you just might hear you better with the higher revs.

Don’t Take a Passenger Without the Right Equipment
Your girlfriend wants to jump on the back of the bike and take a ride with you? Great, but only if she has all of her safety gear. If you would not ride wearing what your passenger is wearing, then she should not either. Remember, your motorcycle is going to handle much differently with a passenger on the back, so the likelihood of having a problem increases the moment that person jumps on. Do you want to have the guilt of causing serious injury to someone you care about? Insist on proper head, leg and foot protection.

Don’t Ride if You Are Not Well
Feeling a little woozy? Don’t get on your motorcycle. You need to be healthy, comfortable, hydrated, rested and fed in order to ride safely. Most accidents are not caused by a faulty bike, but by a faulty rider. Feeling well is important in a car as well, but it is even more so on a motorcycle where the machine responds to the slightest change in your posture. Take care of yourself before you get on your bike.

Don’t Look Down
Whatever you do, even if you think you are going to crash, don’t look down. Your eyes need to stay ahead, looking where you are going. If you feel like you are going down, keep your eyes where you want to be. The fastest way to miss a corner is to point your eyes downward, even for a second.

About the Author
This Guest post was written by: Attorney Robert Reeves of Reeves Aiken & Hightower LLP is a highly experienced litigator who specializes in personal injury claims. As a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and SC Super Lawyers, Mr. Reeves has proven that he is the voice that injured parties need on their side to get the best outcomes for their personal injury cases, especially those who have been involved in a motorcycle accident.

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12 Responses to “What Not to Do on a Motorcycle”

  1. Ax1464  October 22nd

    Don’t know what kind of motorcycles other people are riding, but “step on the gas” is something I’ve only done in cars and trucks.

  2. Christini AWD  October 24th

    Thanks for the tips! We’ll be sure to share. Many beginners don’t realize all the intricacies of bike safety. It all happens in a split second.

  3. Kristy Lopez  October 29th

    Great tips! Even though I’m still a fairly new rider, I know that riding while not feeling well can be detrimental. Oh, and looking down, too! My husband looked down once when he was turning…not sure why (he doesn’t know either), but he almost ate the pavement. Luckily, he looked up and regained control of the bike before turning shiny side down!

  4. Martin  October 29th

    Agreed, maybe they meant punch the gas? Otherwise these are great safety tips for motorcycle riders.

  5. Paul Jr  November 7th

    great tips thanks for the information. I honestly never even considered looking down or the consequences of doing so before.

  6. RONW  November 12th

    “….in a lower gear, you can step on the gas and zoom ahead out of danger”

    To begin with, nice site. A lower gear in medium fast moving traffic also makes you brake more smoothly using engine braking if you were to suddenly need to. This is especially advantageous to newbies who have no idea what emergency braking entails.

  7. Danny K  November 15th

    I have seen too many of my friends get hurt because of not riding safely. Thanks for the tips and remember always wear a helmet.

  8. Brian White  December 4th

    Not looking down is great and so is not speeding but Never riding in a blind spot and All The Gear All The Time is a must

  9. Amie Brown  December 17th

    I find these suggestions very unique, never heard about these before. Quite eager to tell these to my friends who are little careless about their safety while riding their motorcycles.

  10. shaheed  January 3rd

    Hi, love the tips. As a rider of over 6 years myself, I can definitely agree with every tip presented here. I would like to add that, although driver failures cause the majority of accidents, it’s not only yourself you need to focus on – watch the other drivers on the road carefully, many times you can spot a bad driver and avoid the accidents if you have a clear sense of who around you is a bad driver. Also, maintain your bike, improper maintenance can also cause accidents.

  11. Tony  January 10th

    I’ll add… be careful who you ride with… riding with more experience riders can cause a newbee to ride beyond their limits.
    Where you look you go – look for the solutions not the problems…

  12. Karl Steinmeyer  March 30th

    Texting? How about texting while I am riding? Just kidding guys, Every time I see a cager texting I want to throw a marble over my shoulder.

    Great summary, I would have to add drinking the boozey under the “not feeling well” section if not warranting it’s own. Shouldn’t have to say it, but there, I said it.

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