Tips for Staying Safe on Your Cross-Country Ride
As an avid rider, you know that there’s no better way to explore the U.S. than by taking a trip on the open road. From Route 66 to Interstate 80, there are thousands of miles to ride and plenty of views to take in on two wheels. But traveling so many miles across the nation can be a dangerous task for cyclists and drivers alike, so it’s important to take some precautions before and during your trip.
If you’re preparing to take on the open road this year, be sure to read this guide to make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible!
Bring first aid essentials
No matter how safe you drive—in a car or on a motorcycle—there are always risks of injury involved. Even if you’re not driving, you could wind up getting a paper cut, blister, or a headache that require you to get some first aid attention. Investing in a first aid kit is a good idea even if you’re not driving across the states.
Some essentials for your kit include:
- Duct tape
Having these items on-hand can help you deal with minor injuries and minimize major injuries while you wait for emergency services to arrive.
2. Research rest stops
There are several threats that can be cause for concern while you’re on the road, but driving drowsy can be one of the most consequential. It’s estimated that drowsy drivers caused nearly 100,000 accidents in 2018, resulting in more than 1,500 deaths and over 70,000 injuries. You might be thinking that it wouldn’t happen to you, but a survey from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 25 adults fall asleep at the wheel each month. It’s more common than you think, so it’s important to take preventative measures into your own hands.
The most effective way to prevent drowsy driving is getting enough sleep. Before riding any leg of your trip, it’s important to get enough rest. And if you find yourself starting to doze off or become less alert, be sure to stop and rest right away.
To better prepare for your journey, use a road trip planner to find rest places, motorcycle camping guide, attractions, and tourist recommendations.
3. Dress for success
Another way to protect yourself while driving cross country is to make sure you’re wearing appropriate gear. Make sure to always wear a helmet, even if it’s not a legal requirement in the state that you’re riding through; your life could be saved by wearing one. In addition, you should protect yourself with durable and protective outerwear to reduce the potential for scrapes and bruises in the event of a roadside emergency. If you’re carrying any luggage on the back or side of your bike, make sure that you’re strapping down the items properly. Loose cargo can not only be a bummer for you but it can be hazardous to others, too.
4. Locate mechanics on your route
Another problem you could encounter on the road is mechanical issues, which of course could happen anywhere, at any time. The last thing you want to do is be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dysfunctional engine or only fumes in your gas tank.
Before you leave for your trip, it’s a good idea to get your bike checked out by a trusted mechanic. Try to go a few weeks before you depart so that they can get any necessary repairs done ahead of time. Additionally, it’s a good idea to do some research on mechanics that are close to your route, so that you can take care of any spontaneous problems that may arise. Just do a quick search along your route to find an auto dealer or mechanic that can make repairs if you need.
5. Check your insurance
Here’s one more thing to add to your pre-road trip checklist: check your insurance. Sometimes, the calendar catches up to us and we wind up forgetting to meet deadlines or renew important services like insurance coverage. But not having auto insurance can be a serious buzzkill if end up needing a tow, maintenance, or accident help on the way. Before you leave, be sure that your motorcycle insurance is current.
With these tips, your motorcycle trip is sure to be a success