It is easy for some new motorcycle riders to assume that riding is not all that different from driving a car. Sure, you have to learn some special skills and get the proper license, but you still follow the basic rules of the road. If you learned how to ride a bike when you were a kid, surely you can ride a motorcycle now, right?
In actuality, this is not something you want to take lightly. Motorcycles are vastly different from cars and you need to put special care into driving safely, especially when you first start out.
For one thing, you never want to multitask. Do not text and drive. Don't listen to music on your iPod. Don't try to turn your head to talk to a passenger. Don't even spend too much time looking at the scenery around you. It's important to keep your eyes on the road and to stay focused on what you're doing. If you've been driving a car for too long, this may not come naturally.
"Many new riders get into trouble because they try to multitask like they do in a car," said one professional rider. "Riding is both easy and difficult. For a new rider, [it's important to] look at the basics."
Don't try to rush this process. Remember that motorcycles offer no protection in a crash, so one small mistake can have very serious ramifications. Stay safe, stay focused and stay alert. You'll gain experience over time and safe riding will come naturally.
Of course, other drivers can still cause serious accidents, even when you do nothing wrong. Make sure you understand your legal rights after a motorcycle crash.