Wearing the right motorcycle safety gear can keep you comfortable while riding your motorcycle and prevent you from becoming hurt in the event of an accident. We recommend you consider the gear that best suits your needs and ensure it fits properly to enable maximum safety.
Accident statistics kept by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (noted in 2003), that 16.1% of motorcyclists involved in an accident not wearing helmets died of their injuries compared to 2.8% who were wearing helmets. In 2002, 21.1% died of their injuries when riding without a helmet as opposed to 3.6% who wore their helmets. In 2001, 20.7%of motorcycle accident victims riding without a helmet died compared to 3.9% wearing helmets.*
Similarly, the State of California imposed a helmet law in 1992 after many years of permitting motorcyclists to ride without protection. As a result, crash fatalities decreased by 37.5%, from 523 fatalities in 1991 to 327 in 1992.**
If you are purchasing a helmet, you should be familiar with the different styles, sizes and ratings. A good place to start is your local motorcycle dealer. Understand what helmet is best suited to you and your riding style. You should also know the difference between DOT and Snell ratings. Always remember to secure the chin strap when wearing a helmet.
If you are not wearing a full face helmet with visor, consider wearing some form of eye protection. Sun glasses or clear night glasses will keep the wind, dust and sand out of your eyes preventing you from becoming momentarily blinded.
Gloves serve several purposes. In cold weather they will keep you warm. In warmer weather, they will absorb sweat and prevent your hands from slipping on the controls. In the event you fall off, they will provide protection from the pavement. Ensure you choose gloves that fit properly and allow you to work the throttle and levers easily.
The best footwear are leather boots or heavy footwear that protect your ankles. In the event you slide on the pavement, they afford maximum protection. Heavy footwear also permits solid shifting during operation and sure footing while holding the bike upright when stopped.
Enough cannot be said about the importance of wearing the proper riding gear. Choose good quality jackets and pants when operating your motorcycle. They will protect you from the elements while riding upright and the pavement or gravel if the unthinkable happens. Leather will let you slide before tearing open. Denim will also provide some protection before tearing, though not to the same degree. Some manufacturers even offer jackets and pants with hard plastic liners and carbon fiber inserts for protection. When it comes to jackets and pants, it is better to be slightly over dressed than not.
Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and are often involved in accidents because other motorists did not see them. To increase your visibility in traffic, wear brightly-coloured clothing and place reflective material on your helmet and bike. Reflective strips send 90% of the light back to the source, increasing your visibility substantially.
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Note: This site is for information purposes only and is not meant to be construed as legal advice or motorcycle riding instruction. Circumstances concerning proper riding gear is subject to change. Contact your local riding school for more information. For legal consultation Contact us or call Daryl Brown directly at 604-612-6848 or toll free at 1-844-BIKE-LAW . Content provided by Motorcycle Lawyer.ca is protected by copyright and not to be reproduced without authorization.