Motorcycle safety and how to ride safely
Motorcyclists represent 1-2% of traffic yet account for up to 20% of the deaths and serious
injuries on the roads. Motorcyclists involved in accidents are 40 times more likely to be killed than car drivers.
Choosing the right motorcycle safety gear can enhance your ride. While protective clothing won't help you avoid
an accident, it can make a big difference if you do hit the pavement.
Unfortunately, accidents will happen, no matter how careful we are, and injuries cannot always be avoided.
But good equipment can be the difference between a minor injury and one that's more serious, maybe even life-threatening.
Wikipedia - Motorcycle safety
Fuel tank mounted airbags as well as wearable jacket airbag devices change the way we think about
the risks involved with motorcycles. Accidents occur within a very short time and a rider may not
be able to instinctively protect him or herself when a crash takes place. This is where an airbag
device becomes useful and potentially lifesaving. ...
...The second airbag device which is now available is an inflatable airbag jacket. A rider can wear
an airbag jacket that is tethered to the motorcycle, so if he or she is thrown from the bike during
a collision, the jacket will automatically inflate for a 20 second period to provide a cushion for
the rider. This will lessen the upper body and internal injuries to a rider that may often be fatal.
Mugen Denko pioneered the development of airbag jackets in 1995 and conducted many tests, although
the idea of an airbag jacket / vest was invented by Tamás Straub who applied for Hungarian patent in 1976....
Ten Commandments for Motorcyclists
Make Eye Contact
Why? Never assume others see you. Always try to make eye contact with drivers who may be about to pull into your path.
Read “Vehicle Language”
Why? – Even when pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers do see you approaching, they will often misjudge your speed and distance.
Watch out for left-turning vehicles
Why? – Getting hit by an oncoming vehicle that is turning left is the most common type of motorcycle/vehicle accident.
Check Behind when turning left from a Highway
Why? – The drivers behind you may not notice your brake or turn signals so make sure you watch your mirrors and have plenty of space
between you and those behind you.
Look out for hazardous road conditions
Why? Wet Roads, Fluid Spills, Sand, Gravel, Highway Sealant, Railroad Tracks, Pothole, and other road surface hazards significantly
decrease available traction, and this could lead to an accident.
Take it easy on those curves
Why? – Curves are a hot spot for accidents. You might overshoot your lane and cross the center line, resulting in an accident. Curves
are also subject to a lot of the hazards mentioned in #5. Watch the road ahead, slow down, and choose the correct lane position before
entering a curve.
Wear a good quality Helmet
Why? – In recent studies, it has been shown Helmets prevented head injuries in almost 68% of the accidents studied, and prevented
fatalities in 29% of the crashes studied.
Wear Protective Clothing designed for Motorcycles
Why? – Proper riding gear can provide protection during an accident, as well as shield you from the weather and flying debris. The right
gear can also keep you warm and dry, allowing you to stay alert, focused, and coordinated. You will also want to dress in layers so you
can adjust to the changing conditions. For those of you daredevils, shorts offer no protection, and blue jeans are sketchy at best.
Protect your Eyes and Face
Why? – Constant wind can make your eyes water, decreasing your ability to spot road hazards. Insects, dust, and debris can hurt,
especially when you get hit in the eye with one or more of these items. If you subscribe to #7, than just make sure you have enough
coverage and a good fit.
Be Visible to others
Why? – It is best to wear bright colored, reflective clothing. If you want to add to its effectiveness, you can add a reflective vest
too. You may also choose a brightly colored helmet. Ride in the lane position that allows other drivers to easily see you and gives
you room to move. Make sure you avoid riding in their blind spots.
A Timeline of Motorcycle Safety Evolution
- 1885: the first usable motorcycle is invented
- 1928: first front-wheel brakes offered by Harley-Davidson
- 1939: introduction of flashing turn indicators
- 1940: first sealed-beam headlamps
- 1949: hydraulic front suspension used by Harley-Davidson
- 1952: introduction of hydraulic brakes
- 1953: first protective helmet patented
- 1957: first helmet performance standards
- 1958: rear suspension introduced by Harley-Davidson
- 1967: first full-facial coverage helmet introduced
- 1972: motorcycle controls standardized by FMVSS
- 1976: first airbag jacket patented in Hungary
Motorcycle Air Jackets: The Latest Motorcycle Safety Gear
Motorcycle air jackets is one of the newest motorcycle safety gear. It is designed to provide extra protection when riding. Compared to other
motorcycle jackets, it is more effective, and comfortable to wear.
For a long period of time, motorcycle riders have been looking for a gear that will protect them when out on the road. Riding a motorcycle is
said to be riskier than driving a car because of two things; a bike only have two tires and no airbags. Motorcycle air jackets have been just
a far away dream to riders for years. This technology is expected to exponentially elevate the impact of protection when a rider goes down.
However, there have been so many changes in the motorcycle industry and a motorcycle air jacket is not only an over-the-horizon technology. Today
there have been innovations that will change the people’s outlook about motorcycle safety- motorcycle airbag jackets.
Today, motorcycle racers are enjoying the benefits of motorcycle airbags that came in different designs and a number of varieties. They were made
to suit different weather conditions. The most famous brands today is Autobahn 2. The Autobahn 2 can be considered as a motorcycle rain gear because
it is great for wet weather and has removable lining. In case the weather gets warm, you can still get protection from this air jacket without having
to worry about getting too warm.
Since it is important to be visible to other drivers, motorcycle air jackets are available also in bright colors. These can help you get noticed
by other riders on the road despite your size. Even though motorcycle air jackets are indeed expensive, it gives an additional lining of protection
making it worth every penny. AlsoFree Articles, air jackets are designed to protect your body should an accident occur. It is designed to absorb
more of the impact that your body will receive from an unexpected fall.
You have to admit that riding a motorcycle is more risky than driving other kinds of vehicles. That is why the industry didn’t stop innovating
or developing new motorcycle safety gears.
Personal protective equipment
To address the risks of motorcycling, before and after a fall, motorcyclists use personal protective equipment
PPE or more commonly “motorcycle gear”. Many developed countries now require certain articles of PPE,
and manufacturers and governments recommend its extensive use.
Helmet — A full-face helmet provides the most protection. Thirty-five percent of all crashes show major impact on the
chin-bar area. However, 3/4- and 1/2-helmets also are available. Some motorcycle training sites [which?] have banned the use of
half-helmets because of avoidable injuries sustained by riders wearing them.
Gloves — Commonly made of leather, cordura, or Kevlar, or some combination. Some include carbon fiber knuckle protection
or other forms of rigid padding. Gloves designed specifically for motorcycle use have slightly curved fingers and the seams are on the
outer surfaces to allow the motorcyclist to maintain his grip and control on the handlebars and clutch/brake levers. Some gloves also
provide protection to the wrist.
Jackets — Generally made from leather, ballistic nylon, cordura, Kevlar or other synthetics. Most jackets include
special padding on elbows, spine and shoulders. Airbag system technology is now available fitted to jackets and vests for accident
protection and impact protection for both riders and pillions. Competition-approved hard armor is superior to soft padding.
Competition-approved back and chest protectors can be worn underneath jackets. Inflatable airbag jackets can offer an additional airbag
for neck support.
Pants — Made of the same material as jackets, usually including special protection for the knees and hips.
Boots — Especially those for sport riding, include reinforcement and plastic caps on the ankles, and toe area. Boots
designed for cruiser-style riders often have steel-reinforced toes (However this reduces sensitivity of the foot when changing gear).
Boots should always have a rubber sole (as opposed to leather or other less-flexible materials). Despite their toughness and protection,
most boots are very lightweight. Some even include titanium plating.
Goggles or Helmet Visor — Eye protection is of utmost importance – an insect or a kicked-up pebble in the eye at
speed has enough momentum to cause significant damage. Such an event could easily cause the rider to lose control and crash. Besides this
danger, squinting into the wind is unpleasant at best and watering eyes are quite distracting.
Ear plugs — Most riders experience substantial wind noise at speeds above 40 to 50 mph (64 to 80 km/h). Ear plugs help
protect against hearing damage, and reduce fatigue during long rides.
Vests — Made with high-visibility colors and retroreflective materials, vests can be worn over jackets to increase the
chance of being seen and allow drivers to better judge the speed and position of riders, especially in adverse conditions of dark and wet.
Other PPE — Dirt bike riders wear a range of plastic armor to protect against injury from falling and hitting other riders and
bikes, running into track barriers, and being hit by flying debris kicked up by the tires of other riders’ bikes. This type of
armor typically covers the back, chest, and sometimes the extremities.