Many motorcyclists choose an alternative way to commute because of the freeing experience and easy parking. Whatever your reason for riding all across the Golden State, practicing safe habits can prevent accident.

Taking time to refresh or learn new skills, infusing defensive driving methods into your routine and planning ahead can all help prevent collision and serious injuries.

Prepare for your ride

Before heading out for your next ride, take the time to consider if you are ready. It’s easy to forget one or two important steps before heading out the door for a long commute or short errand. So, try making a mental or physical checklist of some steps you should take before each ride. This can include asking yourself:

  • Have I had enough water to drink today?
  • Have a procrastinated any bike maintenance?
  • Am I wearing bright clothing?
  • Do I have my helmet on?

Use defensive riding habits

Defensive driving might seem like an obvious way to be safer on the road, but maybe it’s something you’ve never considered because you have been accident free so far. However, all motorists can benefit by using a little prediction about the next moves fellow drivers will make. Try using common knowledge that car-motorcycle accidents often happen because the motorist doesn’t see the motorcycle rider. And take on habits like double and triple checking for cars while switching lanes and at intersections, and staying out of the blind spots of other motorists.

Sharpen your skills

Even if you’ve been a motorcycle rider for many years, if it has been a while since you last chose your bike or over your car or public transportation, then a little practice won’t hurt. Try going to the nearest parking lot to make both wide turns, quick maneuvers and braking before taking off on a longer drive.

Also, riders of any skill level should consider taking a rider training course. The California Highway Patrol offers training courses beyond the test required to receive your motorcycle license. In addition to being able to sharpen your skills, you might also be eligible for insurance discounts.

At the end of the day, the difference between being cautious and being unaware on the road can be the difference between life and death.