Motorcyclists: Avoid accidents with a pre-ride safety checklist

Riding a motorcycle is one of the most enjoyable -- and dangerous -- things someone can do in Texas. For that reason, every motorcyclist needs to take precautions to prevent the threat of a collision so they can enjoy their hobby (or passion) injury-free for many years to come.

One way that motorcyclists can stay safe and avoid crashes is to ensure that their bikes are in proper working condition. Having a well-oiled and smoothly running machine will allow motorcyclists to better avoid collisions and sidestep a catastrophic event.

Your motorcycle safety checklist

Just like an airplane pilot goes over a safety checklist to ensure the airplane is in proper working condition, motorcyclists can do the same. Here are some basic things you should check off your list in this regard:

Check your fluids: Take a look to make sure that your motor oil and coolant fluids are full. Also, check the conditions of these fluids to make sure that they don't need to be replaced. Both of these fluids are essential to a safely running bike.

Look over the chassis: Your motorcycle chassis could sustain a crack, bend or other kinds of structural damage after rough riding. This damage can happen without your realizing it, and it can weaken your bike, making it more prone to crashes. When looking over the chassis, investigate for any signs of damage. Also look at the suspension systems, springs, chains, sprockets and anything else that catches your eye.

Check the mirrors: Your mirrors allow you to view behind you and potentially avoid accidents caused by cars in your rear. Be sure that your mirrors are clean, crack-free and adjusted so that you can comfortably see behind you and you have minimized blind spots.

Check the electronics: Does the headlight work? Do the brake lights work? Do your turn signals blink when activated? Can you see the instruments on your console if you have one? Make sure your bike is electrically sound.

Check the controls: The control systems on your bike are essential to maneuvering through traffic. Check the foot brake, the hand brake lever, the throttle and all other controls on your bike.

Examine the kickstand: Your kickstand needs to support your bike completely. If it doesn't, you could find yourself in a jam if you need to walk away from your bike for some reason and don't have anything to lean it against. Although your kickstand won't necessarily prevent an accident, it could create some awkward situations and unwanted property damage if your bike is prone to falling over.

Stay safe and injury free while motorcycling in Texas

We all know how dangerous motorcycling can be, and if you're a motorcyclist, you have probably had some close calls that you can tell your friends about. Perform your motorcycle safety check, stay attentive and careful in traffic and don't get hurt on your motorcycle unnecessarily. However, if you do get hurt on a motorcycle due to no fault of your own, learn about your legal rights and options under Texas personal injury law.

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