It’s important to protect your body while riding your motorcycle. Your bike leaves your head, limbs and skin exposed. That means losing control of your motorcycle can result in your skin ripping across the pavement. While road rash isn’t the most dangerous of motorcycle injuries, it’s still important to know how to treat it.
Road Rash Treatment: Avoiding Infection
Wash Your Hands to Wash the Road Rash Wounds
When tending to road rash, it’s important to wash your hands. If you’ll be touching the wound, you want to be careful not to transfer germs. Even when you can’t see them, your hands carry plenty of germs and bacteria. So, it’s important to wash them to prevent transferring the bacteria to your wound and causing infection.
After washing your hands, work to remove the debris from the wound. In most cases of road rash, there may be pebbles and dirt left in your scratches. Removing this can be a delicate process–especially if your wounds are still sore. Therefore, you may want to use a tool like tweezers to be precise. However, you need to make sure to clean any tools before using them. Just like your hands, tweezers and other instruments can carry germs to your wound.
Change the Bandage
When treating road rash, it’s important to keep things as clean as possible to prevent getting an infection. One way to do this is by washing your hands and cleaning the wound. But another way to do that is to make sure to keep the bandage clean.
For the most part, it’s okay to change your covering twice a day–morning and night. However, if your bandage becomes wet or especially dirty, it may be a good idea to change it quickly. By keeping your covering clean, you are taking another step to prevent any infection.
In short, treating road rash is important because the wound can become infected. If that happens, a few deep cuts and scratches can become a serious injury that needs medical treatment. So, be sure to treat your wounds quickly, cleanly, and with care.
Riding a motorcycle can be an invigorating experience. However, when motorcycle crashes occur, that experience can quickly become dangerous and deadly. After all, mistakes and accidents can always happen. But, when you’re aware of the dangers around you, you might be able to take precautionary measures that might reduce your risk. That’s just what we’re here to do…
Motorcycle Crashes: Common Causes
Maybe you’re stuck behind a slow driver on either side. You have plans and places to be. So, you decide to ride the line and split the lane. However, in lane splitting, you put yourself at a high risk of danger. When you cross into this area, you are quite often in the blind spot of the vehicles around you. Therefore, when they don’t take the time to check those blind spots before merging, you are at risk of a motorcycle crash.
Driving Under the Influence
This one typically goes without saying, but it’s absolutely worth the mention. Motorcycle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers made up a full third of all fatal bike accidents according to the NHTSA. Riding drunk, just like driving drunk, puts you at major risk of DUI, injury, and even death. While these factors are well-known to most drivers, the danger is that much more when you’re riding a motorcycle and more susceptible to the elements and roadway issues.
Speeding is one of the top 3 causes of motorcycle crashes. We understand that feeling. Wind in your face, the open road, and that freeing feeling of flying down the roadway. However, the higher rate of speed, the higher rate of impact. While this is true of any vehicle, it is especially true of motorcycles. As we mentioned previously, you have less protections in place on a motorcycle versus a passenger vehicle.
This one might come as a shock, but car doors can actually lead to a hearty list of injuries when it comes to motorcycle crashes. Think of this scenario: You are driving down a two way street in a neighborhood or metropolitan area. There are cars parked on the side of the roadway which you aren’t giving too much of your attention. Next thing you know, someone whips open their car door and you go barreling into it. Alternatively, maybe you swerve to miss it.
In either scenario, you have the high possibility of sustaining serious injuries. In one, you slam into the car door at a decent rate of speed. There is broken glass, you’ve flown through the air, and potentially landed in traffic. In the other scenario, you might have swerved into another vehicle, fallen into oncoming traffic, or laid your bike down. No matter the specific situation, motorcycle crashes are likely to happen.
There is a special connection between a motorcycle and its rider. Riding sparks joy. Not much is better than riding on a sunny day with a slight breeze. A good ride can enhance a good mood, but what can it do for a bad one? Avoiding emotional riding is important when maintaining safe riding habits. Your senses are out of line when emotional, which puts you at a greater risk for accidents.
Emotional Riding: Why To Avoid It
Maybe you’ve just received a sad call or gotten some bad news. Or perhaps you’re angry because you and your partner got in a fight. In these cases, to avoid emotional riding can help avoid accidents. These emotions can cause aggressive driving, which leads to 56 percent of fatal traffic accidents. Feeling distressed or under pressure can also cause this erratic riding behavior.
Avoiding emotional riding can come in different forms. In place of riding while upset or angry, you can try:
- Washing your bike, performing maintenance, or detailing it. Being physically in contact with the bike will give you the same connection but keep you and others safe.
- Listening to soothing music. Letting your mind relax and go to a different place will help your overall mood.
- Ride, but not right away. When avoiding emotional riding, it’s important that you take the time and let yourself calm down first. Once you’ve gotten to a more level head space, try going for a short ride. Make sure it’s at a time where traffic is light.
- Ride to a peaceful place. If you feel like you can’t avoid emotional riding, try riding to somewhere that calms you down. A nice overlook on a mountain or a waterfront spot might do the trick. Focus on getting there safely and not on your situation. Then, use your time at this scenic spot to calm down.
At the end of the day, the safety of you and others is important. If you ride while upset or angry, you are not just putting yourself in danger. Most of the time, situations that evoke these strong emotions are far less serious once fully thought through. Give yourself time to relax and breathe, and then enjoy your bike. Avoiding emotional riding also avoids accidents!
With Spring right around the corner, bikes which have been put away for the Winter can finally have their chance to shine again. However, before getting back out on the road, it’s important to perform some quick Spring maintenance. That way, you avoid running into issues when you’re out on that first joy ride of the season…
Spring Maintenance: What to Double-Check
Oil and filters
Proper Spring maintenance includes checking and replacing your fuel and oil supplies. Make sure that your oil still looks good, and add more or replace it if the levels or quality are not up to par. The same goes for your gas tank. If you have any leftover fuel from the Winter, it’s a good idea to drain it and run some fresh fuel through the lines.
Furthermore, your bike filters need a check too. When checking your oil and gas, check the filters as well. Your oil, fuel, and air filters are all important and work together to provide you with the best ride possible.
Battery and plugs
Battery and spark plug checks are sometimes overlooked during Spring maintenance. Also, check your battery for residue buildup and if it has any charge. If your charge appears to be on the weaker side, try to give it a quick charge and work on getting a new one soon.
Spark plugs can be easy to check, but sometimes riders overthink them during their Spring maintenance. First, just pull out the plugs and check their condition. If they need replacement, just go for a plug that had a good reputation and fits your bike.
Chain, breaks and tires
Your chain, breaks, and tires all work together, so if one is in bad shape, they all can be impacted. For your chain, check for rust or breaks first. If it all looks good, give it a quick clean and apply some new lubricant. Then, most of your Spring maintenance is done.
Your last stop on Spring maintenance, is checking the breaks. As we all know, brake function is key to safety for any rider or driver. Check the break pads for wear, and replace the brake fluid with a new batch. For the tires, make sure they have the right amount of air in them. Give them a change as well if they’re a bit too worn out.
Spring is a great time to start riding again. Of course, you want to make sure your bike is still in working order after a Winter tucked away. Doing this Spring maintenance can help make sure your bike is ready for the many, many rides ahead.
Braking with a motorcycle can be a difficult thing to do. The process is much different than braking in a car. In a car all we have to do is press the brake, and all four tires respond in harmony with one another. But on most motorcycles, the front and rear brake use separate controls. Each control operates a wheel. And a wheel can easily lock up during a hard brake. Being that a motorcyclist never knows when they will have to use the brakes abruptly, this can be a safety problem. A wheel that locks up instead of braking can cause a serious accident. In some cases the impact of a locked wheel will throw the rider from the bike. Therefore, an anti-lock braking system for your motorcycle is a good safety option.
Anti-Lock Braking System Pro’s
1. How They Work
In short, an anti-lock braking system works by measuring wheel speed. Typically, a wheel speed sensor send signals to the anti-lock system. From those signals, the system can judge whether the wheel is about to stop.
In that case, the system uses that information to rapidly adjust the pressure from the brake cylinder on the brake caliper. This reduces pressure if a lock up is about to happen, and increases the pressure again once the bike has gained traction once again.
2. Benefits of Anti-lock Braking
There are many safety benefits to having an anti-lock braking system on a motorcycle. Studies show that the rate of deadly crashes is thirty-one percent lower on a bikewith an anti-lock system. When tested on a track, riders stopped quicker with the anti-lock system. In addition, the required braking distance also improved to a shorter distance.
As far as feeling the brake system goes, the anti-lock braking system does not affect normal braking. It is only issued in a time of emergency. Furthermore, the system comes as light as one and a half pounds. So, as you can see, an anti-lock braking system can go a long way in giving you added protection behind the wheel of a motorcycle. We encourage you to explore your options, and ride safely.
Young drivers, or inexperienced drivers, can be quite a liability to the roadway. This isn’t their fault. After all, we all have to start somewhere when it comes to managing highways, fast lanes, and bustling streets. However, when you’re a motorcyclist— inexperienced drivers present an added hazard to the roadway. Maybe it’s a student driver, new driver, or someone from outside of the area. No matter the reason, riders might find themselves surrounded by drivers who aren’t aware of bikers, and the etiquette you should use around them.
Inexperienced Drivers: Motorcyclist Dangers
If you are new to the roadway, you might not be used to driving around alternative vehicles, such as tractor trailers and motorcycles. Seasoned drivers tend to be more comfortable, and therefore respond in the proper manner when it comes to different vehicles. They might better understand how to share the roadway. A proper following distance makes all the difference in terms of biker safety, especially when an unexpected stop comes along. Moments such as this, is where proper training comes in…
Maybe you grew up in a low-traffic, rural area. But now, you’re moving to the city and the traffic is quite jarring. Every single one of us sat in a Driver’s Ed class. But, for many of us, that was quite a long time ago. Therefore, it’s important that we educate ourselves. If something in particular is difficult for you to understand— research it. We, even as adults, never stop learning. Look up proper etiquette for driving near a motorcycle, tractor trailer, or a vehicle that you’re unfamiliar with, such as a bicycle.
Ultimately, we are responsible for our own safety. But, staying safe yourself often means helping others to stay safe on the roadway. Increase your following distance, watch for coming obstructions, merging cars, and the like. The road is changing every day, and no two commutes will ever be the same. But, as drivers of all experience levels, we want to avoid accident, keep ourselves safe, and prevent issues from occurring. We encourage you to keep learning, take the long route if it makes you more comfortable, and do your part in keeping the roadway safe.