The common saying amongst riders is you should “dress for the slide not the ride”. It is an easy phrase to remember that highlights both the reality of the dangers riders face and the crucial role proper dress plays in helping to keep them safe. If you live in Massachusetts two items are non negotiable: a helmet and face protection.
Massachusetts supports its mandatory helmet law by research that found an estimated 1,872 lives were saved in 2017 alone thanks to helmets. It’s also estimated that $3.5 billion were saved in economic costs.
- Every person riding a motorcycle, whether operator or passenger, must wear a helmet. The helmets need to meet or exceed the US DOT helmet standards.
- The only exception to this state law is no protective head gear is required if the motorcyclist “is participating in a properly permitted public parade and is 18 years of age or older.”
- If your motorcycle doesn’t have a windshield or screen, state law requires motorcyclists to wear either: eye glasses, goggles or a protective face shield when riding.
- A full face shield is recommended, as it can protect your whole face in the unfortunate event of a crash, and each ride offers protection against wind, dust, dirt, bugs, rain, and anything that might fly at you from the cars in front of you.
Recommended Safety Gear for Massachusetts' Motorcyclists
While other safety gear is not mandated or required by law in Massachusetts, it’s highly recommended. Wearing the right gear that fits correctly can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury if you were to ever get into an accident on your bike. Riders that wear helmets, face and eye protection, and protective clothing have the best chance at avoiding serious injury.
- Wear a jacket and pants to completely cover your arms and legs. The fit should be snug, but still allow you to move freely and comfortably.
- Jackets are even recommended in warm weather as they can help prevent dehydration. Many are specifically designed to protect you without causing you to overheat.
- Materials: Leather, denim and other study synthetic materials will help prevent scratches, abrasions and help protect you from the elements or stray rocks tires from other vehicles might send your way. Some riders even choose to get rigid body armor inserts for additional protection.
- When you ride, your boots or shoes should cover your ankles and be sturdy enough to support your ankles.The soles of your shoes should be hard, durable and slip-resistant. Shorter heels are better so they don’t catch when you ride over rough terrain.
- Another tip is to tuck your laces in so they don’t catch on your bike anywhere.
- Gloves help you to grip better and protect your hands in an accident. They’ll also protect your hands from anything that might fly up to hit your fingers while riding. Gloves are recommended to be leather or a durable synthetic material.
- Materials: Gloves should be leather or a synthetic, durable material as that will offer necessary protection.
In addition to wearing the right gear, made of the right material, that fits correctly - there are a few other things to keep in mind for ultimate safety as a motorcycle rider.
Massachusetts reports that most motorcycle accidents happen during the day while it’s still daylight. Brightly colored clothing and reflective tape is recommended for your helmet and equipment to make you more noticeable. If you don’t want to wear brightly colored clothing - the state recommends you consider a reflective vest.
In general, another defensive clothing tip is to wear layers of clothing to allow your body to breathe. In addition to protecting you, your gear should keep you warm and dry.
Staying warm in the Massachusetts’ winters is especially important if you ride your motorcycle all year long. If you’re numb from the cold, you will not be able to control your motorcycle as well. Long rides in the cold can lead to fatigue, chill or even hypothermia in extreme cases. Winter jackets for riders are recommended to fit snuggly at the neck, wrists and waist.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Massachusetts? Free Consults by our Boston-Based Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in Massachusetts, Spada Law Group’s injury attorneys can work to protect your legal rights. We have offices in Chelsea, Salem, and Worcester but we proudly serve the entire state and can meet with you remotely from the comfort of your own home. Contact us for a free consultation so we can learn more about your case and see how we can help you get the recovery you deserve after your accident.