After purchasing your bike, the next step before you venture out on the roadways is to get the right safety gear. According to national data , in 2008, the most recent year of published research, 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured. 64 of those deaths occurred in Minnesota. But perhaps what is most striking is that of those 64 Minnesotans who lost their lives, 81% of them were not wearing helmets.
Research shows that the head, arms and legs are most likely to be injured in a motorcycle crash. Protective clothing serves three primary purposes: (1) protection from the elements; (2) injury protection; and through the use of bright colors or reflective material, a means to increase the visibility of bikers to other motorists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations recommends the following protective clothing and equipment:
- Helmet. By far the most important piece of equipment, helmets should fit comfortably and snugly. Make sure your helmet has a DOT label. Both the driver and the passenger should wear helmets.
- Eye Protection. Choose high quality goggles, glasses with plastic or safety lenses, or a helmet equipped with a face shield.
- Jackets and Trousers. Ideally these should be brightly colored. They should also be of durable material (e.g., synthetic material or leather) and have long sleeves/pant legs. Avoid baggy pants to prevent entanglement with the chain, kick starter or foot pegs.
- Gloves. Durable gloves with non-slip grips are best.
- Footwear. Leather boots are best as they protect the feet, ankles and lower parts of the leg. Durable athletic high-tops are the next best option.
In selecting your protective gear, you should also look for gear with reflective material so as to increase you visibility.
Think about it.