If you are one of the seven million women who owns and rides a motorcycle in the U.S., you probably think you’ve got the safety basics covered. This July, before you hit the road to celebrate Women’s Motorcycle Month, take a few minutes to review some special safety tips for women riders. When you come up against careless, distracted drivers on a pleasure cruise this summer, you’ll be glad you did!
Safety Tips Specifically for Women Riders
When it comes to women motorcyclists, we believe that they are entitled to the same respect on the road as men. Unfortunately, neither male nor female riders get as much respect from other drivers as they should. Women now represent over 10 percent of all riders on the road and they face some unique challenges in their efforts to stay safe. Along with Nationwide Insurance, one of the sponsors of Women’s Motorcycle Month, we offer these special safety tips and reminders for women riders:
- Make sure your bike fits. Start out with a small bike that allows you to put both feet flat on the ground. Once you become skilled at handling this bike, you can move up to a bigger size. Even if you are a woman of average height, most full-sized bikes will not allow you to put both feet flat on the ground, so you will need experience handling a bike that you cannot easily balance. When riding a bigger bike, you will have to learn to lean left when you stop, walk your bike out of parking spots, and look ahead for potential problems like hills and obstructions before stopping your bike.
- Take a class designed for women. Taking classes regularly to enforce safe practices and advanced riding skills is essential for all riders, but not all classes will address the special needs of women riders. Go through a local women’s biking club to locate a class designed specifically for women. These classes will provide practice in the areas that give women riders the most trouble, like handling bigger bikes and stopping and maneuvering when you can’t easily touch the ground. Classes can also be a good place to try out a bigger bike before taking the plunge and buying one.
- Wear a helmet. While helmets are only required in Kansas for riders aged 18 and younger and Missouri appears poised to repeal their universal helmet law, all bikers should always wear a helmet. The fact is that helmets save lives and the smartest thing any rider can do is wear a full-face, DOT-approved helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent and reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent. While you may enjoy the feel of the wind blowing through your hair as you ride, it’s not worth the risk when you are riding on busy roadways or major highways.
- Join a club. Joining a women’s motorcycling group is not only a great way to connect with other women riders, but it is also a great way to exchange information about issues of concern to women riders, to get riding tips from people like you, and to try out different size and models of motorcycles before you buy. Group rides are also a great social network, and often support a great cause. It’s important to follow safe riding tips when riding in a group, but group rides can be a great way to network and take advantage of safety in numbers.
We hope you find these tips helpful as you look forward to getting out on the road during Women’s Motorcycle Month this July.
Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.
You can also order your FREE copy of our book, "KC Biker Bible."