You can never be too safe on the road, especially if you’re driving a motorcycle. Apart from being exposed to the elements, there’s less protection when you’re involved in a crash. The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) shows that over 5,286 Americans lost their lives in a motorcycle crash in 2016. This is a 5.1% increase from 2015’s fatalities of about 5,029. The NHSTA also added that motorcycle deaths were about 28 times more frequent than deaths from other vehicles, based on 2016 data.
As a rider, you should take every precaution to make sure you’re protected. You should have the right motorcycle insurance and the best equipment. And while helmets saved the lives of 1,859 riders in 2016, you should invest in gear that protects other parts of your body as well.
Here’s a list of essential motorcycle equipment to help you keep safe on the road.
A Good Pair of Gloves
Though you may think that they are purchased more for aesthetics, gloves are essential in motorcycle safety. If you ever find yourself in an accident, no matter the magnitude, breaking a fall with your bare palms on concrete or asphalt will leave you with painful gashes. There are different types of gloves you can get depending on your budget and the weather.
Gauntlet – These gloves are known for providing the best protection for your hands and wrists. They have a thick reinforcement that defends your hands from impact and scratches. They come in a variety of materials. Some high-end models may have kevlar fiber fabric or carbon fiber armor. Because of their girth, however, it might be a challenge to adapt to driving with them if you’re used to thin gloves or to not using any glove at all.
Motocross/Dirt Bike Gloves – If you’re looking for a more natural fit and grip, a pair of dirt bike gloves would fit you perfectly. They’re not as tough as gauntlets, but they should provide enough defense against palm and knuckle scratches. They are easier to put on and take off than gauntlets.
Classic Leather – Leather gloves are a stylish but practical way of saving your hands from injuries during that long drive from Los Angeles, CA to Chicago, IL. Modern versions of these have knuckle and palm pads that offer ample protection. They also come in different materials such as cowhide, sheepskin, and goatskin.
While knuckle and palm cushioning are number one when it comes to picking your glove of choice, fingers should be a priority as well. Shy away from fingerless gloves. They may seem more breathable, but they’re not worth the reduced protection. If you want something that keeps you cool for the warm weather, opt for leather cruising gloves instead.
Elbow and Knee Pads
A durable jacket and pair of pants are a no-brainer when you’re shopping for gear, but you should never overlook the importance of elbow and knee pads. A lightweight pair of guards with protective shells and foam pads is enough to keep you safe on the road without feeling bulky. If you have the extra cash, get yourself some back armor as well so you’re protected from head to toe.
Your feet are also at risk of serious injuries when you’re on your bike. This is why you should keep your sneakers and flip-flops in the bag and get a pair of motorcycle boots. Like gloves, they also come in armored and timeless leather. Some of them even have tactical designs that have reinforced toe protection. A pair of leather motorcycle boots should serve you well. They have thick soles and strong, low-maintenance materials that are more than enough to keep your stompers guarded against nasty scars.
You’ll have to shell out a bit of cash for equipment, though, and you need more time in the morning to get ready. Protective gear may also be expensive, but you can never put a price on safety.
Get Complete Protection on the Road
Apart from the right equipment, a good motorcycle insurance policy is essential in keeping your travels safe. Here at Oxford Auto Insurance, we offer low-cost motorcycle insurance that may have comprehensive coverage, increased liability limits, and even roadside assistance plans. We have decades of experience in providing affordable auto insurance in Chicago, and we’re always striving to give the best service for our customers.
Contact us today to get the motorcycle insurance you need.