5 important safety tips for Arizona motorcycle riders

Whether you are enjoying your first motorcycle experience or have been riding for years, you must always be alert to the possibility of an accident.

In Arizona, motorcycle riders are a common sight all year round. If you are among them, here are five important safety tips to remember.

1. Protect your head and eyes

In Arizona, every motorcycle rider younger than 18 must wear a helmet, but no matter how old you are, a helmet is the best way to protect your brain in an accident. Look for helmets bearing the Department of Transportation or DOT symbol. Eye protection is also essential. For example, if you are not wearing goggles or a mask and a bug flies into your eye, you could crash your bike and suffer a serious injury.

2. Wear protective clothing

Make sure you cover your arms and legs, ideally with heavy denim or leather. Wear boots or shoes that cover your ankles. If you ride after dark, wear reflective garments.

3. Be visible

Most motorcycle crashes happen because the motorist involved did not see the motorcycle. Add reflective material to your bike and keep your headlight on even during the day. Be especially cautious at intersections and signal to change lanes. As a motorcyclist, you must drive defensively.

4. Check your bike

Always check your tires, brakes, clutch cables and chain/drive before you head out. Make sure your bike is in good condition.

5. Know the traffic laws

Obey speed limits, signs, traffic lights and lane markings. Be familiar with the Arizona traffic laws. For example, ARS 28-903 states that motorcyclists may not split lanes and may not ride more than two abreast. Keep the laws and safety tips in mind while you enjoy the open road on your motorcycle.