Choosing the right helmet can have an enormous impact on protecting yourself from critical injuries in the event of an accident. Head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities in motorcycle accidents so picking a safe helmet is crucial. Make sure it comes equipped with a full face shield and meets government safety standards. Wearing motorcycle specific leather jacket and pants will protect you from getting deep and painful scratches from the pavement if you're in an accident.
Go Through Motorcycle Training
Completing a proper motorcycle training course is not only helpful, it's actually required by law in the state of Washington. Their training includes a knowledge and riding course to test your skills. Taking additional safety classes would also be in your best interest to ensure that you're completely prepared for any situation that comes your way.
Don't Drink and Ride
All the same rules that apply to driving in a car, apply to riding a motorcycle. You should never ride if you're under the influence of drugs or alcohol because you will have decreased judgement and reaction time. Without the protection of seat belts and airbags, you're at an even greater risk of injuring yourself in an accident and alcohol will increase the chances of you being in an accident. Not only will you hurt yourself, but you could seriously injure someone else.
Keep a Safe Distance
Just as with driving a car, it's important to give the drivers in front of you a good buffer. That way if they stop abruptly, you decrease your chances of rear-ending them and seriously hurting yourself. If someone driving behind you is tailgating and not giving you enough space, you're better off pulling over so they can pass you. Even though they would be at fault in a rear-end accident, you would sustain far worse injuries than the car driver.
Respect Traffic Laws
Motorcyclists are still required to abide by the same traffic laws as any car or truck driver. That includes following the speed limit, stopping at 4-way stops and red lights, using your turn signal and passing safely. Following the law and driving defensively are perhaps the easiest way to avoid an accident.
Use Your Head
By using common sense, you can avoid the majority of accidents. If you're feeling under the weather or using potent cold medicine, this could impair your judgment and reaction time just like drugs and alcohol. If it's late at night or weather conditions make you feel uncomfortable, it's better to listen to your instincts and avoid riding your motorcycle. Especially if your motorcycle is dark in color, make sure you wear reflective safety gear in the evening to make yourself more visible to other drivers. Another easy way to make yourself more visible to other motorists on the road is to always have your headlights on, whether it's day or night.