Staying Safe on Your Motorcycle


The roar of a motorcycle’s engine and the wind on your face are a visceral thrill. You’re in control, but you’re also exposed to road hazards and sudden obstacles that can leave you vulnerable to injury or even death. Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than those riding passenger cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Keeping your bike maintained and in good shape can help you stay safe on the road.

The first motorcycles evolved from the simple, pedal-powered bicycles of the 19th century. The inventors of these early designs, including France’s Michaux-Perreaux and America’s Sylvester Roper, often moved on to work on automobiles and other inventions. Gottlieb Daimler, who developed a gasoline-powered bicycle-styled vehicle in 1885, would go on to found the company that eventually became Mercedes-Benz.

Many modern motorcycles incorporate sophisticated traction control systems that are more advanced than those on cars. Some even have rider aids like always-on headlights to ensure that drivers can see you, and lane-departure warning systems that alert you when your bike is leaving its lane. But the best and most effective safety system on a motorcycle is the rider, who must remain calm, focused and immune to the risks of driving fast.

The sport of motorcycling is a unique form of personal expression. The type of bike you ride, how you drive it and the gear you wear can reflect your character and values. It can also provide a deeper connection with nature and allow you to immerse yourself in the sun, air, scents and scenery in a way that’s impossible from inside a car.