Duvall’s Towing Tips: Motorcycle Safety and the Importance of PPE
Specialized towing is one of the many services we offer here at Duvall’s Towing, including that of motorcycles, and we are always happy to assist riders in need in the event of a vehicular hiccup. However, it is always upsetting when we get a call to claim a motorcycle that was wrecked in an accident, and even more so when the condition of the rider is unknown. We realize that operating motorcycles comes with a level of risk that is absent when a driver is behind the wheel of a car, and so this blog post is dedicated to safety tips and information about specialized PPE that can protect the lives of motorcycle riders everywhere.
What is PPE?
“PPE” is the abbreviation for Personal Protective Equipment. It is any form of protective equipment worn to minimize risk of or exposure to serious injury. Different forms of PPE can be used in a variety of situations, like doctors wearing surgical masks or chemical engineers wearing very thick gloves. So, what are some recognizable and recommended articles of PPE for motorcycle riders?
Jackets and Pants
When most people picture motorcycle riders, they imagine one of two things: the 1960’s rebel in a leather jacket and jeans, or the buff motorcycle gang member sporting a denim vest, sunglasses and long beard. While it is true that some motorcycle jackets are made from leather, the most protective ones are made from nylon or other types of synthetic fabric, and usually include specialized padding installations for the elbows and shoulders. Pants are made of the same or similar material, and incorporate special protection for the hips and knees.
Full-face helmets lend, by far, the most protection to its users as compared to three-quarter and half-helmets. In fact, some motorcycle training sites actually require the use of full-face helmets—with no exceptions—because riders in the past have sustained preventable injuries using less protective headgear. A full-face helmet also helps to protect and maintain visibility, which is of the utmost importance when you’re riding on a busy highway. At such high speeds, something as harmless as a bug to a car’s windshield could prove considerably dangerous to the naked eye. A sudden, painful sensation to such a vulnerable area could easily cause any rider to lose control and crash.
Gloves that are designed specifically for motorcycle use are very different from standard gloves. These gloves are generally made of leather, but can also be made of synthetic fabric, or in some cases both. Some even include carbon fiber protection. They are also designed with a slight curve to the fingers to allow for a firmer grip and greater control of the handlebars.
A number of different kinds of riding boots exist, and are categorized based on their intended use. For sport bikes, boots tend to include reinforcement like plastic caps on the ankles and toe area. For cruising, boots are often designed with steel-reinforcement for the toes and sometimes even titanium plating. No matter the use, boots used for motorcycle riding should always have a flexible rubber sole.
What do These Articles of Personal Protective Equipment do for Motorcycle Riders?
PPE offers improved visibility for both the rider and drivers.
Most motorcycle or motor bike riders wear helmets and utilize striking colors and retroreflective materials in the designs of their PPE. The first ensures that their sight isn’t impaired by strong headwinds, and the second ensures that they are visible to other motorists on the road.
PPE offers abrasion resistance and impact protection in the event of an accident.
While it is true that leather provides the most abrasion resistance in a crash, synthetic fabrics like ballistic nylon provide significant protection and are less hot to wear. In addition, these kinds of fabrics tend to be more affordable, easier to preserve, and are—in most cases—waterproof. High-quality rider jackets and pants include the foam padding previously described, and sometimes even dual-density foam lined with plastic or carbon fiber that compress and distribute the impact of a crash to protect the wearer.
PPE offers protection from the elements.
One of the most unique and important parts of PPE is weather protection since motorcycle riders don’t have the same coverage that car owners do while driving. As harsh weather can make for long, extremely risky rides, articles of PPE like any of the ones described above can help defend riders against wind, rain and the cold.
Here at Duvall’s Towing, we care about more than just your vehicle. We care about you, and we want you to be properly informed so that you can be protected in the event of an unfortunate accident. If you are the proud owner of a motorcycle, consider becoming the proud owner of all that should come with it. Stay safe, ride on, and call Duvall’s Towing.