Top 6 motorcycle safety tips

A motorcycle ride on the open road – there are few driving experiences like it.

As thrilling as that sunny ride down a wide-open road feels, motorcyclists must take more precautions than other drivers. 

Whether you are a new or experienced rider, observing these six safety tips can help you avoid serious injury.


1. Take the class

All new riders should take a motorcycle safety course, but don’t slam the brakes on motorcycle education once the initial class is passed.

Experienced riders should also consider taking refresher courses from time to time to stay sharp. Plus, you may be eligible for an insurance discount by completing a safety course.

2. Buy the right helmet…and wear it

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017.

Not all states have helmet laws. The ones that do have such laws see a reduction in serious and fatal injuries. State mandate or not, wearing a helmet can help reduce injury.

Additionally, make sure your helmet is DOT-compliant, which meets established safety standards required by law to best protect your head.

3. Gear up even more

Dress the part so you and others on the road can see everything clearly.

Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially if you plan to use your motorcycle at night. Wear clothes that are durable and boots that cover your ankles.

Make sure all glasses/goggles/face shields are well ventilated to prevent them from fogging on the road to avoid other vehicles and clearly spot potholes, puddles, railroad tracks and other roadway obstacles.

4. Prioritize anti-lock brakes

The ability to brake confidently on a motorcycle is vital – and more complicated.

With separate front and rear brakes, using them too fast can lock one or both of the wheels and overturn the motorcycle. A motorcycle equipped with an anti-lock brake system (ABS) significantly reduces a driver’s crash rate.

If you’re in the market for a new ride, an ABS should be near the top of your shopping list.

5. Don’t speed or drink

Speeding and drinking alcohol prior to jumping on a motorcycle are common factors in serious and fatal accidents.

According to a 2018 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, 31% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared to 18 percent for passenger car drivers, 14 percent for light-truck drivers, and 7 percent for large-truck drivers.

Motorcyclists have a significantly higher rate of serious injury when drinking.

6. Encourage passenger safety

Motorcycle passengers should sit as far forward as possible and keep their feet on foot rests at all times – even when the vehicle is at a stop.

Make sure your passenger knows to minimize movement and only lean at the same time and in the same direction as you. Give your passenger the all clear when it is safe to get off the motorcycle.

Observing these tips can help keep you hit that sunny, open road safely.

To protect you and your motorcycle in the event of an accident, talk to your independent agent today about how The Hanover can help.



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

National Safety Council

Insurance Information Institute


This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation.  By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC 2021-135