Long Island can be a motorcyclist’s dream, especially in the summer. Motorcycle riders love exploring our beaches, towns, and diverse scenery with the freedom that a motorcycle offers. Unfortunately, however, motorcyclists face far more dangers on the road than other drivers. A motorcycle offers no protection for riders, making injuries common, especially from negligent drivers.
Motorcyclists, thus, must be proactive in protecting themselves with motorcycle safety gear. Some riders ignore the recommended motorcycle safety gear lists, which can lead to serious injury and death.
Motorcyclists cannot avoid all potential risks on the road, but purchasing quality motorcycle safety gear can go a long way toward preventing severe or even fatal injuries. The TonaLaw team has compiled a motorcycle safety gear list to help you stay safe on the road.
Motorcycle Safety Gear List
Purchasing quality motorcycle safety gear is essential to your safety on the road. Below is a motorcycle safety gear list with some essential items. Riders sometimes complain about the cost of purchasing quality safety gear. However, your life is worth the relatively low cost you’ll spend on quality motorcycle safety gear.
A helmet is first on our motorcycle safety gear list for a good reason—statistics show that wearing a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved motorcycle helmet can save your life on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are 37% effective in preventing motorcycle driver fatalities and 41% effective in preventing motorcycle passenger fatalities. According to estimates by the Center for Disease Control published in 2017, 749 lives could have been saved that year if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
Not only can wearing a helmet save your life, but wearing a helmet can also keep you from getting a ticket. New York was the first state to implement a universal helmet law. This means all motorcyclists and their passengers must wear a DOT approved helmet.
It’s important to note that not all helmets are acceptable. Many helmets may appear acceptable to the untrained eye but are useless in an accident. Look for a helmet with a DOT symbol on the back. The NHTSA has a helpful guide on how to find a safe helmet that fits you for the best protection possible.
Another crucial piece of motorcycle safety gear is eye protection. A stray pebble can cause a major accident if you drive without eye protection. Additionally, like with helmets, New York motorcyclists are required to wear protective eyewear. While most DOT approved helmets come with protective eye and face coverings, if you purchase your eye protection separately, be sure it is also DOT approved.
In the heat of summer, the last thing you may want to wear are motorcycle boots. People wear sneakers all the time on motorcycles. However, boots are an important element of your motorcycle safety gear because they protect your feet and ankles from injury.
When riding a motorcycle, your feet are just inches away from the street, engine, and exhaust pipe. If sneakers hit the fast-moving pavement, they’ll be destroyed quickly, exposing your feet to injury. Plus, sneakers are not heat resistant and can easily melt if exposed to your engine’s heat. Motorcycle boots, on the other hand, are typically made of durable materials like leather to prevent injury. As such, they stand up better to the street and the heat from the engine and exhaust pipe and are essential to your safety on a motorcycle.
Protecting your hands from the elements is critical to controlling your motorcycle. Plus, if you fall, you will instinctually attempt to break your fall with your hands, making them the first thing to hit the ground. That’s why we have included gloves on our motorcycle safety gear list.
Not only do a good quality pair of motorcycle gloves offer protection, but they also allow you to get a better grip on the motorcycle’s handlebars. Your hands may be sweaty in the summer, and there may be snow in the winter or rain during any season. Moisture on your handlebars will cause your hands to slip, and you could lose control of your bike. However, the proper gloves can provide grip even when the elements work against you.
“Dress for the slide, not for the ride.” This old biker idiom reminds motorcyclists that protecting your body is far more important than looking cool on a motorcycle. You should wear long pants and shirts with long sleeves to protect you from potential sunburn. Plus, your clothes should be made of a durable material like denim, leather, or other protective materials to protect your body and skin during a fall.
Many motorcyclists invest in armored motorcycle gear for maximum protection. Armored motorcycle safety gear is typically constructed with high-density foam with carbon fiber or Kevlar abrasion panels to protect your vital organs and body parts. Armored motorcycle gear comes in a variety of pieces, such as jackets, vests, and pants and offers some of the best protection for bikers available on the open market.
The next item on our motorcycle safety gear list is a jacket. Not only does it cover your arms to protect from sunburn, but it can also provide protection in the event of an accident. Since motorcyclists are constantly exposed to the elements, a jacket can also help protect you from the elements such as wind, rain, sleet, and snow.
Your jacket, like your clothing, should be made of durable material. Think leather or denim rather than a windbreaker. You can also invest in an armored motorcycle jacket for maximum comfort and protection.
If you plan on riding at night, invest in brightly colored or reflective clothing to be easily visible to other drivers on the road. You can also purchase reflective strips and attach them to your clothing. Avoid wearing dark colors when you ride at night. As a motorcyclist, you should take all precautions you can to be visible to others on the road for your own safety.
What Not to Wear on a Motorcycle
We’ve described motorcycle safety gear that can help prevent injury or death should an accident happen. However, knowing what not to wear on a motorcycle is equally important to your safety. Some items you should avoid wearing on a motorcycle include:
- Sneakers, tennis shoes, sandals or dress shoes;
- Headphones or earbuds;
- Shorts or skirts;
- Loose clothing;
- Half helmets or used helmets;
- Dark clothing, especially at night; and
- A heavy backpack.
This list is not exhaustive. When in doubt, stick with wearing items from the motorcycle safety gear list in the section above.
Contact TonaLaw for Your Motorcycle Injury Case
Accidents still happen even if you wear all the recommended motorcycle safety gear on our list and take every other precaution possible. Although the safety gear may help prevent serious injuries, you may still have extensive medical bills and injuries due to an accident caused by a negligent driver. Fortunately, the client-centered attorneys at TonaLaw can help. Our Long Island motorcycle accident attorneys treat every client with compassion and respect while aggressively fighting for their right to fair compensation under the law. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.