WASHINGTON--May 15, 2013: There's nothing like being out on the open road with the throttle in your hand and the wind at your back. But the most experienced motorcycle riders know that an accident can happen in the blink of an eye.
May is motorcycle safety month and GEICO is raising awareness among riders and non-riders alike with a multitude of safety tips, educational resources, and a safety video from AMA Daytona Sportbike Champion Martin Cardenas to ensure that everyone has a safe time this motorcycle season.
- Always wear a helmet -- In many states, wearing a helmet is now the law. A motorcycle rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury. Make sure your helmet includes a face shield or protective eyewear.
- Wear protective clothing -- Leather clothes, gloves and boots with nonskid soles can protect you and minimize severe injuries in case of an accident. Reflective clothing will also make it easier for other drivers to see you.
- Take a safety course -- There is no such thing as too much training when it comes to riding a motorcycle. Play it safe and take a motorcycle safety course. Safety courses such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's (MSF), will sharpen your riding skills. Experienced riders can also benefit from refresher training. Some insurance companies offer participants and instructors a discount in most states for completion of a course.
- Follow the rules -- Know the rules of the road, obey the speed limit and local traffic laws. Remember to always pass vehicles and other bikes on the passing lane and give yourself enough time to break.
- Ride defensively -- Nearly two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver violating a rider's right of way. Ride with your headlights on and signal well in advance of any change in direction. Always watch for turning vehicles and be extra careful in inclement weather.
- Don't drink and ride -- It's illegal to operate a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol affects judgment, vision and decreases your ability to ride and react defensively.
- Check your bike -- Make sure your motorcycle is ready for the road by inspecting the tires for proper air and making sure the lights are in good working condition. In addition, test the clutch and throttle, adjust the mirrors and check the brake controls
The GEICO military bike tour will roll into the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, Va., May 18 -- 19; Charlotte Speed Street Festival, Charlotte, N.C., May 23 -- 26 and the Patriot Festival and Air Show, Virginia Beach, Va., May 31 -- June 2.
GEICO Insurance Agency offers protection against risks such as natural disasters, personal injury, theft, accidents, property damage, vandalism and liability, featuring competitive rates, online quoting, multi-policy discounts and multiple pay plan options.