Two-wheeled safety

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Darin Evans
  • 66th Training Squadron First Sergeant
With warm weather fast approaching many will soon opt for two-wheeled transportation. Although motorcycles are exciting and save money at the gas pump, riders need to keep a few key points in mind.

First of all, remember that it's been upwards of four months since you've straddled your motorcycle. Before you turn the key, spend an evening reviewing the notes and books from the safety class you took. Then, when you take that first ride try taking it out on roads with very little traffic and obstacles. During the ride consider going to an empty parking lot where you can practice skill sets taught in your motorcycle safety course, especially swerving and emergency braking.

Here are a few tips that I remind myself of when riding my two wheeler.
- Preflight including tire pressure check.
- There's a lot of gravel on the road edges during early spring.
- Keep your head up and eyes where you want to go, not 15 feet in front of you.
- If you find yourself in a car's blind spot, speed up or slow down to get out of it as quickly and safely as you can.
- Slow down.
- Assume you are invisible to cars.
- Although 50 degrees feels like a heat wave, layer clothing to avoid hypothermia.
- Choose lane positions that keep you visible to other motorists.

In addition to safe riding remember to dress accordingly. Air Force Instruction 91-207 states that the following must be adhered to by operators and passengers of a motorcycle.
- Operator must have a license with motorcycle endorsement, valid insurance, registration and completion of an approved motorcycle safety course.
- Helmet must be Department of Transportation approved.
- Wear a high-visibility vest, reflective at night and bright colored during the day.
- Wear gloves designed for motorcycle use.
- Wear goggles or a full helmet with face shield.
- No shorts; wear pants.
- Wear heavy over-the-ankle footwear; leather boots are preferred.
- Wear a heavy leather or cloth jacket.

Riding motorcycles is inherently more dangerous than traveling in a car. However, if the motorcycle operator avoids complacency by staying refreshed on basic skill sets many accidents can be avoided.

Ride safe.