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Motorcycles, by nature, are far less crashworthy than closed vehicles. They are also less visible to other drivers and pedestrians and less stable than four-wheel vehicles. Operating a motorcycle requires a different combination of physical and mental skills than those used in driving four-wheel vehicles. Motorcyclists and their passengers are more vulnerable to the hazards of weather and road conditions than drivers in closed vehicles. Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment.
Safe riding practices and cooperation from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways. But it’s especially important for drivers to understand the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists such as size and visibility, and motorcycle riding practices like downshifting and weaving to know how to anticipate and respond to them. By raising motorists’ awareness, both drivers and riders will be safer sharing the road.
To operate a motorcycle in New York State, you must have a motorcycle operator’s license (Class M) or a motorcycle junior operator’s license (Class MJ). You can drive a motorcycle in New York if you are a resident of another state or country and have a valid motorcycle license from there. If you are less than 18, you must obey the restrictions for both the out-of-state jurisdiction and New York State. The instructions to apply for a driver license, which includes a motorcycle license, are in Chapter One of the NYS Driver’s Manual. You can study that manual as well as this one, even if you already have a license. Your motorcycle license written test will be based on information from both manuals
Check your motorcycle’s tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels before you ride. You should also check under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. If you’re carrying cargo, you should secure and balance the load on the cycle; and adjust the suspension and tire pressure to accommodate the extra weight.
All motorcycle operators and passengers must wear approved motorcycle helmets as defined by USDOT federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS 218). To improve the visibility of the motorcyclist, we recommend that helmets have at least four-square inches of reflective material on both sides. Learn more about choosing the right helmet.
All motorcycle operators must wear approved eye protection even if the motorcycle has a windshield. Any windshield must also be of an approved type. Prescription or made-to order safety glasses may be used if the user can present written certification that they meet DMV standards. The eye protection must be made in a way that conforms with the regulations established by the American National Standard Institute. However, the NY DMV recommends approved goggles or a face shield for full protection.
Experienced riders know local traffic laws and they don’t take risks. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave plenty of room between your bike and other vehicles; and always check behind you and signal before you change lanes. Remember to ride defensively. In NY, motorcyclists can use a full lane and can ride two abreast in a single lane. You cannot ride abreast of another vehicle in the same lane, between lanes or between traffic and parked cars. Motorcyclists are subject to all rules of the road. This includes signals for all turns and lane changes and pass only where it is allowed for other vehicles. The headlight and rear light of the motorcycle must be on at all times when you operate on the road.
Alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications, negatively affect your judgment, coordination, balance, throttle control, and ability to shift gears. These substances also impair your alertness and reduce your reaction time. Even when you’re fully alert, it’s impossible to predict what other vehicles or pedestrians are going to do. Therefore, make sure you are alcohol and drug free when you get on your motorcycle. Otherwise, you’ll be heading for trouble.
Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than people in passenger cars to die in a traffic crash. Motorcyclists continue to be overrepresented in traffic-related fatalities, accounting for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities, while representing only 3% of the entire registered motor vehicle fleet.
For these reasons, NHTSA is dedicated to promoting safe behaviors of motorcyclists and other motorists, as spelled out in our Motorcycle Safety 5-Year Plan and demonstrated by our public awareness campaigns like Share the Road, and Stop Impaired Riding.
Straightline Collision is dedicated to you and focuses on providing the best customer service regarding your auto body needs during what can be a stressful time. Our team strives to make your visit as seamless and hassle-free as possible. Should you find yourself in need of collision repair services, stop by for a free estimate at 2912 Arthur Kill Rd, Staten Island, NY 10309 or call us at 718.966.8900 Monday through Friday from 7:30am-5:00pm to speak to our expertly trained staff.