CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Summer is approaching and it is important to keep the following safety guidelines in mind.
“Force preservation is our mission, and we need to make sure that all Marines and Sailors doing recreational activities are doing so safely,” said Gunnery Sgt. Monica Cervantes, base safety representative. “Troop welfare is the key to mission accomplishment, and supervision is what will make that happen.”
The 101 critical days of summer begins each year on Memorial Day weekend and ends after Labor Day. This week’s guidelines focus on the five motorcycle safety.
Motorcycle Personal Protective Gear
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, more than 2,200 people are killed each year and more than 55,000 are injured in motorcycle crashes. Many of those deaths and injuries could have been avoided if a helmet was worn.
“There’s an old adage which says to dress for the crash and not the ride,” said Blaine Bromwell, regional traffic safety manager. “Personal protective gear is extremely important because you can’t protect yourself from everything out on the road. You have to prepare for the what-ifs.”
Protective gear provides both comfort and protection. Uncomfortable gear can distract a rider. Properly fitting protective gear will help a rider stay comfortable when encountering various riding conditions. In the event of a crash, protective gear will prevent or reduce injuries.
Personal protective equipment will not prevent crashes, but can help to cut down on the deaths and injuries associated with motorcycle accidents.
Protect your feet
The Safety Division of the Commandant of the Marine Corps encourages the use of durable high-tops, hiking, or work boots as alternatives if armored motorcycle riding boots are unavailable.
Boots with laces, loops, hooks or flaps can snag on the bike and contribute to loss of control. Motorcycle footwear is designed to give good traction on paved surfaces, be oil resistant, and not interfere with pegs, shifters, brakes and other appendages on the bike.
According to the Safety Division of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, more gear affords more protection, but body armor is the best method of protecting the body. If an armored jacket or pants are unavailable, spending less money on a non-armored product that has a motorcycle label or logo is not going to significantly lower the risk any more than even less expensive mall leather jacket and jeans.
The small contact patches provided by the front and rear tires are the motorcycle’s only source of traction. Deterioration of a bike’s tire condition can jeopardize this contact patch. Safe riding depends on selecting the right tires, inspecting and maintaining them, and replacing them as necessary.
“It’s important to do maintenance because your bike is the only thing that’s going to protect you from the road,” Bromwell. “Riders have to keep the working parts like tires in working order.”
For more information, please visit the following links:
Base Safety: http://www.pendleton.marines.mil/StaffAgencies/SafetyCenter.aspx
Motorcycle Safety Foundation: http://www.msf-usa.org/
Commandant of the Marine Corps Safety Division: http://www.safety.marines.mil/